Going skiing in 2013?

An increasing number of skiers and snowboarders are opting for self-drive holidays to European ski resorts to enjoy good snow conditions and to save money on flights.

However, driving to ski resorts in many European countries brings with it certain motoring challenges and concerns particularly when it comes to car tyres.

It is common for Northern European motorists near ski resorts to have two sets of car tyres because they are more used to driving in snowy conditions than we are. At this time of the year they will fit winter tyres to deal with the very cold weather, ice and snow.

According to the FOXY Lady Approved female friendly Protyre Group this is not common practice in the UK yet, although there has been an increase in the sale of winter or cold weather tyres in the last few years.

Please see the excellent Tyresafe video here if you need convincing about the safety case…

Furthermore, motorists driving to a German ski resort are liable to on-the-spot fines if their vehicle becomes stuck in snow or ice because their tyres are unsuitable for the winter conditions. All British motorists travelling to alpine resorts should be aware of the importance of tyre choice although apparently the Department of Transport has confirmed that international conventions only require that our cars satisfy general technical requirements.

Protyre recommends that if you are driving to European ski resorts you consider a set of winter tyres or as an alternative, switching to an all season tyre which has the capability of dealing with snow and ice better than summer tyres. Where in doubt contact any of the FOXY Lady Approved female friendly Protyre tyre fitting centres in the UK for advice. Their contact details can be found at www.protyre.co.uk.

Important tyre safety checks

Either way, before setting off on a winter road journey MTS suggests the following safety checks:

+ Check all tyres for their general condition
+ Check tyre pressures
+ Check tyre tread – where winter tyres are fitted a minimum of 3mm is required in most countries. Other tyres should also have a minimum of 3mm.
+ Check the spare tyre for tread depth and pressure

As always, FOXY’s advice to women drivers is to get used to walking around your car on a regular basis, come snow, rain or shine, to check the condition of your tyres. You are looking for any evidence of sidewall wear and tear, a slow puncture and low (getting close to being illegal) tread.

Your tyres control your road safety, that of your passengers and potentially other motorists/pedestrians so that must always the main consideration… BUT if you neglect them they will also be MUCH more expensive to replace than they would be to repair the moment you spot a potential problem.

Happy skiing!

FOXY Steph