Winter is just around the corner, and with it, the time to make sure your car is ready for the challenges of the season. From icy roads to snow-covered highways, a well-prepared vehicle can make all the difference in your winter travels. Failing to do so can result in fines, accidents, and many inconveniences.
One of the most important things to consider is getting the right tires. Winter tires are specifically designed to provide better traction on icy and snow-covered roads, and switching to winter tires can improve your car's grip and stability in winter conditions. Tires are often required to have a minimum tread depth, usually between 3 and 4 millimeters. In many European countries, winter tires are a must from November to April. So, this kindly reminder comes at the right time. However, just having winter tires is not enough. You need to make sure they are in good condition by checking tread depth, tire pressure, and general wear. If they are worn out, you should replace them.
In regions with heavy snowfall, you may be required to carry snow chains as well. Specific dates and regulations can differ, so it's crucial to check with local authorities. Fines for not complying with these requirements can range from €40 to €200 or more, depending on the country.
Lights and Visibility
During winter, daylight hours are limited. In several European countries, it's mandatory to use headlights even during the day to enhance visibility. Non-compliance can lead to on-the-spot fines. Before the harshness of winter arrives, make sure your headlights, fog lights, indicators, and reversing lights are all working.
Antifreeze and Coolant:
The next thing you need to check is that your car's cooling system has the right mix of antifreeze and water to prevent freezing. As the name suggests, antifreeze will stop the water in the engine's cooling system from freezing. A 50/50 ratio of antifreeze to water is usually recommended. When mentioning fluids, in winter it's also important to check the windshield wiper fluid, as the windshield can get dirty more often due to weather conditions. Thanks to eTOLLs EU, you don't have to put vignettes on your windshield, which can also make it dirty. However, it's recommended to use a cleaning fluid suitable for winter to avoid freezing.
Don't skip regular maintenance. Check your brakes, heating system and defrosters are all in good working order. A properly maintained car is less likely to leave you stranded in the cold.
Even with a winter-ready car and proper equipment, the key to safe winter driving is to adjust your driving habits. Slow down, increase your safe distance, and avoid sudden stops or sharp turns. Be especially careful when roads are icy or covered with snow. And always carry emergency equipment in your vehicle.
And that's it. You're all set!
Winter adventures await you – make them unforgettable!
Plus, the eTOLLs EU app makes even purchasing vignettes an easy process, allowing you to buy digital vignettes conveniently from your cozy warm home.