Winter tire requirement – when do I have to put on winter tires?

Winter tire requirement – when do I have to raise winter tires?

Information about winter tires

Since December 2010 there are no more excuses for motorists in this country. If you want to be on the roads in the winter with snow, ice and mud, you have to convert to winter tires. Anyone caught in winter weather and slippery roads with summer tires faces fines and points in Flensburg.

Summer tires are optimized for dry and wet summery roads. If the temperatures fall in the single-digit range, the hardness of the rubber compound increases sharply, so that they can no longer optimally adapt to the road surface. As a result, the grip deteriorates and the braking distance becomes longer. Therefore, despite modern safety techniques such as ABS or ESP, we can not do without winter tires in order to drive confidently and safely. The rubber compound of the winter tires is cold-resistant, which means that they are better suited for low temperatures and road conditions with ice, fresh snow or a stuck snow cover.

Winter tire requirement – when do I have to raise winter tires?

The winter tire requirement, which has been in force since 2010, stipulates that in the case of black ice, snow fall, slush, ice or frosted frost on M + S tires (M + S stands for “mud & Snow “) must be driven. These tires are available as winter and all-season tires. The winter tire requirement is valid for all car, truck, bus and motorcyclists. Since no exact period of winter tires is defined in the Highway Code, it is advisable to raise the winter tires before the weather conditions are worse and use snow, ice and road slippery.

From October to Easter is winter tire time. Drivers should arrange appointments for tire replacement before the first snow.

A good tip for mounting the winter tires is the so-called O-to-O rule, according to which winter tires should be kept in the period from early October to the weekend after Easter. However, many people wait until the temperatures have dropped permanently below 7 degrees. If you do not change your tires yourself, it is advisable to have the tire changed soon enough. With many motorists waiting for ground frost or even the first snowflakes to get through to fitting their winter tires, tire dealers and garages have their hands full when the first snow falls. The Cost of a tire change should not exceed the limit of 20 euros for most tire services and workshops.

Driving summer tires in winter?

If you get caught in bad road conditions by the police with summer tires, a fine of 40 € is quickly due. Who is traveling in the summer with summer tires and other road users hindered, for example because the car is left on the road, must expect a fine of 80 € and a point in Flensburg.

Also in terms of insurance protection should be considered the deliberate disregard of Winterreifenpflicht. In principle, although the liability protection exists, if drivers despite winter weather conditions is not on the road with winter tires and builds an accident. However, it could come because of increased operating hazard of the car to higher liability shares, if one is in debt of an accident. The situation is different with the comprehensive insurance, which should cover the damage to your own car. If the insurance company can prove that the driver was grossly negligent with summer tires during winter weather, they can reduce or refuse the payment.

What should I look for when buying winter tires?

If you are used winter tires you want to make sure that the tires are not older than 2 years. The year of manufacture is indicated by the last digits of the DOT number on the side of the tire. Ideally winter tires should be replaced every 6-8 years.

Particularly important for the winter properties, however, is the degree of wear of the tire. Across Europe, the statutory minimum tread depth is 1.6 millimeters. However, experts warn against the winter tires also down to the statutory minimum tread depth, because a tire can lose its winter suitability even if the tread depth falls below 4 millimeters. In addition to the pure summer and winter tires, there are also so-called all-season tires (All Season), which, according to experts, can be a compromise solution for drivers in snow-scarce regions. However, the recommendation of the experts is very clear: summer tires in summer, winter tires in winter.

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Christina Cherry
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