Dont Forget to Take Snow Chains if Taking your Car Skiing

By: Tony Cowley

Snow chains are designed to give your vehicle extra traction when driving through snow and ice. Snow chains are usually attached to the drive wheels of a car (these are the front wheels on a front-wheel drive car), however it is recommended that all four wheels be chained to provide extra stability.

In the UK there is no legal requirement for vehicles to carry snow chains or any other traction aid during winter. However, many European countries insist on a number of winter driving accessories not normally needed in the UK.

British motorists visiting French ski resorts are often unprepared for this, they have caused accidents and have had to leave vehicles stranded as they get stuck on icy or snow bound roads in the Alps.

It is important to remember than when driving in the Alps, and regardless of which country you are in, snow chains must be carried at all times when driving along mountain roads. You can be stopped by the police at any time on a mountain road and if you cannot produce snow chains, you may be fined.

Even if you do not need to fit snow chains, and this applies to drivers of 4 x 4s, you must carry snow chains. The police are especially tight on this in France and even if the roads are clear they can demand to see your chains. At best, they will turn you around and send you to the nearest town to buy or hire some chains at worst they will fine you.

Several accidents involving British motorists have been reported as holiday makers head up the French mountains to enjoy the skiing. Holiday makers have had to abandon their vehicles and then had to find alternative transport to reach their ski resort.

So if you plan to visit France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy or any of the Scandinavian countries you should be aware that there are certain areas where snow chains or other traction aids must be carried and without which you may get in to trouble with the local authorities.

So if you're going skiing this year it is essential that you purchase chains before you hit the mountain roads. When you are selecting snow chains for your car it is essential to let the supplier know the correct details of your vehicle including the tyre size so that the right snow chains can be supplied.

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