Driving in the mountains with snow chains: 14 dos and don’ts to keep you safe
- Credit: Getty Images
Snow chains are a crucial bit of car kit if you plan to drive in the mountains on icy and snowy roads. They provide maximum traction when driving through snow and ice, however it is important to use them properly and safely. Paul Lamarra passes on the dos and don’t of driving with snow chains.
Snow chains: The dos
Buy the most expensive chains you can afford or consider hiring them if it is likely to be a one-off trip. Snow chains come in all shapes and sizes, from fabric socks to spikes, and can cost anything from £50 to £300, although it is possible to hire them for around £45 per week plus postage costs. The chains come in pairs and are fitted to the drive wheels.
Practise fitting chains before your trip.
Check the weather and road reports before setting off for the day.
Wear a high-visibility jacket or vest.
Pull away slowly in a higher gear.
- 1 Tour de France 2022: 3 new stage hosts announced
- 2 What you need to know about France’s Covid-19 health pass system
- 3 Fibre optic France: countryside has faster internet access than many cities
- 4 A Year in Provence with Carol Drinkwater – the new Channel 5 series to enjoy this autumn
- 5 Escape to the Château: Dick and Angel Strawbridge return to screens for new series
- 6 French Property: 9 Vineyards for sale in France for every budget
- 7 Who are the Kretz family members from Netflix’s The Parisian Agency?
- 8 Visit The Last Duel's French filming locations
- 9 8 Instagram accounts all French learners should follow
- 10 3 key things you need to know about visas for France
Pull off the road into an aire de chainage (layby) when fitting chains.
Turn off traction control or anti-skid mode.
Check regularly for damage and tension while chains are fitted.
Consider fitting chains to all four wheels, especially if you have a four-wheel- drive or rear-wheel drive vehicle.
Snow chains: The do nots
Use chains on snow-free roads, even if this means removing them frequently.
Use a snow sock for long journeys.
Use broken or damaged chains.
Drive at more than 30mph.
Accelerate quickly, brake hard or fail to slow down going into a bend.
Found this useful? Check out Driving in the French Alps: 6 tips for extreme winter and snowy conditions