Illegal tyres could land you on the slippery slope to motoring misery if you are driving to a ski resort

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With the snow beginning to fall on the ski slopes in Europe, now is a good time to remind all holidaymakers who are planning on driving to their destination to make sure their tyres are in good condition and conform to continental laws.

Bridgestone winter tyres (1)

An increasing number of skiers are opting for self-drive holidays to European ski resorts to save money on flights, but it could end up being an expensive false-economy if they are involved in a car accident and their tyres are held responsible. This is why it is important to make sure you get to grips with requirements and legislation.

Motorists can significantly reduce the risk of an accident by making sure their tyres are safe to tackle sub-zero weather conditions. Driving in snowy mountain regions requires a good level of tread depth to maintain traction with the road and stay in control of the vehicle and in certain European countries it is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres tyres.

Popular skiing destinations such as France, Austria, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Italy all have specific requirements, including the fitting of winter tyres. Winter tyres contain a higher quantity of natural rubber compound, which allows them to retain their flexibility on frozen roads. They also contain many tiny cuts in the tread, known as sipes, which help the tyre to absorb snow, rather than slide over it. Whether driving on regular or cold weather tyres, making sure that the tyre has a sufficient amount of tread depth is fundamental to braking and driving safely on wet and icy roads.

Making sure your tyres also have the correct pressure is also an important consideration when driving to a ski resort, and remember to increase the pressure to support the extra weight of luggage and skiing equipment. Incorrectly inflated tyres could lead to a build-up of heat inside the tyre as it strains to perform under the additional weight, which could ultimately result in a dangerous blowout.

etyres advise holidaymakers to check the legislation of their destination country and any they drive through on the way there before leaving, in order to avoid costly penalties or invalidating their insurance. Click here for more information.

etyres supply and fit a wide range of winter tyres to suit all budgets, including economy ranges starting from around £250, and its highly competitive prices are always low thanks to its Discount Promise, which means customers who order a full set of four winter tyres receive £25 off the retail price.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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