Are you planning a skiing holiday, and plan to hire a car? If the skiing vacation is planned to be somewhere in Europe then the car must have winter tyres fitted on them. Even if the vacation is planned to be spent in UK, make sure that the car that is hired is fitted with winter tyres.
Tyre manufacturers have upgraded their methods of making winter tyres. Now, the winter tyres that are sold have softer rubber used in them. This allows the tyre to get a wider and firmer grip on the road surface. When cars were mostly rear wheel driven most people thought that fitting winter tyres on the rear wheels was enough to provide the required traction on icy and snow covered roads. Also, now some people believe that front wheel driven cars only need winter tyres on the front wheels. Both these beliefs are wrong!
All four tyres of the car must have winter tyres on them. Also, the tread, size, and condition of the winter tyres should be the same. As much as traction is required on wet and slippery roads, so is the ability to apply the brakes. When brakes are applied, all the four wheels are forced to stop, and if one or two tyres are different then the car can go out of control. The reason is that the brake pressure will not be even.
Temperatures in winter can go down dramatically and climate variations can be very unpredictable. So, no one wants to get stuck on the road with bad tyres. Remember, it takes time to empty roads and all the roads do not get cleared of snow and ice at the same time. So why take chances? Just being careful on the outset can save a lot of problems later on. More accidents occur in winters than in summers, so being careful always helps.
Tell the car hire company where you plan to spend your skiing holiday and also be firm that the car they are going to give you is fitted with winter tyres. When accepting the car, check that all the tyres are winter tyres and are in the same condition. If you are not sure of the tyres, it is better to take the car to a tyre shop and get their suggestions. Now what some people tend to forget is the spare tyre. Check that as well, and make sure it is also a winter tyre.
Talk to any tyre shop mechanic regarding the tyre pressure to be maintained, and ensure that the needed tyre pressure is maintained. Look at the tyres pressure regularly as the higher you go the more rarefied the air gets. Winter tyres appear a little thinner than summer tyres, and this is a result of their having a wider traction and not because they are under filled.
Many ski resorts are on subsidiaries of the main roads, and the chances of having to drive on snow covered and ice topped roads is very high. With the correct tyres there will be no issues during driving on these road surfaces, and odds of the car going out of control or skidding will be removed.
Besides the tyres, it is very important to make sure that the car’s brakes are in good condition. A slight tap on slippery surfaces with faulty brakes can make the car to go out of control. So, do look at the brakes. When driving on icy or snow covered roads, use the gear to slow down and maintain traction. Use the brakes as little as possible.