Rules and regulations surrounding Winter vehicle-use in Europe have been published in an effort to make roads safer for all road users during Winter 2019/20. Countries across the EU have established their own rules which drivers must be mindful of when travelling across borders. With these new rules come a variety of strict limitations, vehicle equipment requirements and liability clauses, each dependent on the location.
The main aim of these changes is to reduce road deaths and injuries, emergency repair callouts and increase the safety of other motorists. Prior to any journeys through the EU, It is key to ensure you are prepared for the European Winter, by performing detailed inspections of your vehicle and providing all drivers with appropriate training.
To begin with, Winter tyres are now compulsory in several countries, including Austria, Germany and Turkey. Between October and April, Winter tyres must be fitted in 19 different countries, though the precise time period changes depending on the location, with some countries not requiring implementation until November.
As for snow-chains, in most countries, you must have snow-chains onboard your vehicle at all times, and they are to be fitted when you encounter snowy or icy terrain, or a traffic sign warns you of the dangerous environment ahead. You will be denied access to Hungary should you fail to present proof of snow-chains stored in your vehicle. Ensuring they are used properly, it is advised that all drivers are trained on how to fit and remove them before departure so that they are prepared to do so in any environment.
It is essential that snow-chains are removed once you leave snowy/icy terrain as they can cause damage to the road surface. Other required equipment includes a snow shovel in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Macedonia.
Furthermore, studded tires are prohibited in 14 countries, including the Netherlands, Poland, and Hungary. Whilst some countries permit studs between October and April, others have specified maximum lengths, for example, Spain has a 2mm limit when on snow-covered roads.
Driving during Wintertime can be dangerous, especially when dealing with unpredictable weather and tough terrain. It is important to ensure you are aware of what equipment is required, how to use it and how to maintain your vehicle. Rough conditions can cause wear and tear, so why not make it easier to spot with our Checkpoint wheel nut indicators. Available in a range of bright colours, you’ll be able to spot the unwanted movement of wheel nuts in any weather. Visit our Products page to learn more.