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Still too many drivers without winter tires

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

Some people are driving high performance vehicles and want a UHP (Ultra High Performance) summer tire. I would not want an A/S tire on my Porsche for example

But most people are just driving ordinary hatchbacks or "SUVs". At least 90% of the cars on the road would be absolutely fine on decent all season tyres year round. You don't need snow to see the benefit, first frost and you can see all the cars on summer tyres that have skidded off into the ditches, and that's just in Lincolnshire! I really can't see how car manufacturers get away with selling cars that are unfit for use in reasonably common conditions, at least without a big warning sign telling the purchaser not to drive in frost or snow.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I think the answer was in response to the question of why not fit all cars with all-seasons out of the factory? Perhaps the more exact question is why not fit all-seasons by default to all mainstream models, and only fit summers to performance models?

As a performance car owner, it also annoys me that manufacturers make too big a compromise on tyre choice because they are trying to get one tyre to work optimally across all seasons, which is impossible. So you see owners forums replete with discussions of what tyre is more suitable for optimal summer conditions because they're unhappy with the handling on the stock tyres. Trouble is, that on a performance car, getting the best handling means separate winters and summers. Even in the UK. But the manufacturers won't admit this.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
RobinS wrote:
Quote:

Some people are driving high performance vehicles and want a UHP (Ultra High Performance) summer tire. I would not want an A/S tire on my Porsche for example

But most people are just driving ordinary hatchbacks or "SUVs". At least 90% of the cars on the road would be absolutely fine on decent all season tyres year round. You don't need snow to see the benefit, first frost and you can see all the cars on summer tyres that have skidded off into the ditches, and that's just in Lincolnshire! I really can't see how car manufacturers get away with selling cars that are unfit for use in reasonably common conditions, at least without a big warning sign telling the purchaser not to drive in frost or snow.


I see it the same as you. Rear drive high performance vehicle (no complaints from me about that to be clear) really are an outlyer on this forum and with this thread discussing general mobility of most numerous part of users/market. The "summer" tyre position at those extreme axis really are nothing to do with the vehicle access this site's core user is going to explore.
That is really a topic for those performance oriented forum that has primary interest not focused on getting family etc safely to and from wherever in cold/slippery conditions.

The great irony is the thread starting on french vehicle's access and winter conditions viability when they led the front wheel drive and thin tyre "normal" car development over the years, all on skinny tyres that had not much problem moving them around.

The current vehicle market that pushes simultaneously, wider, low profile, high speed rating tyres onto all "ordinary" vehicles (these elements are all diametrically opposed to low surface grip requirements in tyre quality) is really absurd when it comes to winter conditions.
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LaForet wrote:
The last time I drove in difficult snow conditions the problem I faced was that the car was actually driving very well. After a few kilometres and 4-5 hairpins, I was getting pretty confident. But I'd no real idea of what the limits were.....


I usually try to deal with this situation by picking a benign spot (e.g. wide straight road) and deliberately braking/accelerating harder than I think entirely wise just to gauge how much grip I have in reserve. Better that than having to do an emergency stop not having an idea of how much grip there is.
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It could be, as newer technology brings improvements , that car tyres will become all season by default in the fullness of time but, for now, you have to fit what's best for you. I am retired and no longer have to go out in the early morning and don't need winter tyres in the UK. Yes, it's been cold all day lately so I drive accordingly, brake gently, anticipate what's happening ahead and try not to drive into the "problem". But most of my driving will be in temperatures above 7C where summer tyres are safest. I did drive to the Alps in late March last year but it was comparatively mild and summer tyres were fine. Of course I carry chains and know how to use them - I simply do not see a problem with using chains for those driving to the Alps once a year, generally, especially late season up to about 5000 feet. The worst problem would be black ice , without snow, so you don't want chains on but it's slippery. It would then be preferable, of course, to have winter tyres but, let's put it this way - I've driven to the Alps about 20 times, mostly in February and always on summer tyres but always taking chains. That was mostly up to Flaine at 5000 feet. That road is promptly cleared of snow and I've rarely needed chains.

You could argue I've played the odds and won. Or got lucky. I realise there are those who will have encountered snow south of Calais but I bet it's comparatively rare. If you do the annual mileage, go out early morning and have storage space and drive to the Alps frequently then, yes, get winter tyres. For others it's probably not necessary. This annual discussion will run and run, won't it......
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billb wrote:
It could be, as newer technology brings improvements , that car tyres will become all season by default in the fullness of time but, for now, you have to fit what's best for you. I am retired and no longer have to go out in the early morning and don't need winter tyres in the UK. Yes, it's been cold all day lately so I drive accordingly, brake gently, anticipate what's happening ahead and try not to drive into the "problem". But most of my driving will be in temperatures above 7C where summer tyres are safest. I did drive to the Alps in late March last year but it was comparatively mild and summer tyres were fine. Of course I carry chains and know how to use them - I simply do not see a problem with using chains for those driving to the Alps once a year, generally, especially late season up to about 5000 feet. The worst problem would be black ice , without snow, so you don't want chains on but it's slippery. It would then be preferable, of course, to have winter tyres but, let's put it this way - I've driven to the Alps about 20 times, mostly in February and always on summer tyres but always taking chains. That was mostly up to Flaine at 5000 feet. That road is promptly cleared of snow and I've rarely needed chains.

You could argue I've played the odds and won. Or got lucky. I realise there are those who will have encountered snow south of Calais but I bet it's comparatively rare. If you do the annual mileage, go out early morning and have storage space and drive to the Alps frequently then, yes, get winter tyres. For others it's probably not necessary. This annual discussion will run and run, won't it......

You could argue that tyres on most cars in the 1970's were all season by default. Most common cars had nothing wider than 175mm and nothing less than 70% profile so were ideal for cutting through snow. They also generally had zig zag tread patterns so providing at least some grip in all directions. Of course modern compounds are much better but when they discovered that longitudinal grooves were best for reducing aquaplaning the zig zag pattern was dead and grip on snow massively reduced. 'Summer' tyres with no grooves across the tread (apart from shoulders) are also much more fuel efficient so manufacturers will use the thing that shows their products in the best light in usual purchasing data i.e. mpg trumps winter grip.
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RobinS wrote:
You don't need snow to see the benefit, first frost and you can see all the cars on summer tyres that have skidded off into the ditches, and that's just in Lincolnshire!

To be clear, it’s not all cars on summer tyres end up in a ditch. It’s that all cars in the ditch are on summer tyres.

‘‘Twas ever thus. The Nut behind the wheel is the weak point.
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@jamescollings, Absolutely, but the fact remains that at least 90% of UK Drivers would be safer on all-season tyres. JanetS has early morning starts and insisted on them before winter set in.
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@jamescollings, ....that's a nice observation.

We have a significant and constant gradient for 5km on the road up from our shack to the village and then to bottom station, and it is often the case that the 'I have 4wd and that's everything I need' crew are just spinning away on summers or ....as you say .... in a ditch to the side of the road.

My partner fulminated about me buying a 4wd Yeti (....we don't need that what's wrong with the Touran on winters.....) only, the first day on the hill in the Yeti we were tiptoeing up the hill in 15cms of fresh, and we were the only car able to move. And that included people with chains on one set of wheels. We simply pootled past all the spinning wheels and spinning cars. At that point my partner had discovered the heated seats in the Yeti so that was the last time anything was said about the purchase.....
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I'm thinking even with winter tires this person was always going to end up upside down.

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I never really get this discussion, and also they way it is argued. You could argue that poor Dutch families wouldn’t necessarily need to update their worn down brake pads, since they live in a flat country, and rarely need to brake hard - That would be an idiotic statement!

Back to the alps: You will be a danger to your family and other motorists, if you travel in snowy, cold or icy conditions on summers - Period! You are showing a complete lack of care for other people, and have your head up your ass.

It’s not only up the mountain, but also in the highways en route to you destination, where you will have limited traction/grip and a bigger risk of losing control of you vehicle, that could endanger your family and others.

There is a special place in hell, for egoistic people that don’t care for others.

If you car is not up to the job, then it’s your responsibility to find another way to transport your ass on vacation - Period !
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billb wrote:
But most of my driving will be in temperatures above 7C where summer tyres are safest.


That's not actually true. That's the approximate point below which they start to lose their grip, i.e. where winters would be safer, but there's no inverse correlation to suggest that winter tyres are unsafe at slightly higher temperatures. Less efficient, more noisy, less long-lasting, yes, but unsafe? No.
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Quote:

There is a special place in hell, for egoistic people that don’t care for others

Golly. I hope you reserve some of that ire for people complaining (in other threads) about drivers who have their cruise controls set for 130kph on the autoroute and then take too long to overtake trucks, thereby slowing everybody down.

On the whole, the accidents caused by people sliding round on snowy roads with the wrong tyres are pretty minor compared to the pile ups caused by people driving too fast, too close, on the autoroute.
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You know it makes sense.
Chaletbeauroc wrote:
billb wrote:
But most of my driving will be in temperatures above 7C where summer tyres are safest.


That's not actually true. That's the approximate point below which they start to lose their grip, i.e. where winters would be safer, but there's no inverse correlation to suggest that winter tyres are unsafe at slightly higher temperatures. Less efficient, more noisy, less long-lasting, yes, but unsafe? No.

https://nordicroads.com/comparison-of-winter-and-summer-tyres-on-bare-roads-summer-time/
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@sugarmoma666, Nothing in that article tells us what temperatures the tests were run at, just that they were conducted in the summer; I would assume that 'normal' summer temperatures wherever they ran them would be at least ten degrees higher than mentioned here, so it doesn't really lend any credence to the notion that summer tyres are inherently safer above 7C.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I don't read technical stuff about tyres much, but I don't remember anyone arguing that winter tyres are unsafe at summer temperatures at normal driving speeds on normal roads (i.e. max 70 mph in the UK). Certainly nowhere near as unsafe as summer tyres are in the winter.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
The main issue is that the difference in performance is very asymmetric. Summer tyres are a bit better in warmer temperatures, winter tyres a lot better in cold temperatures and massively better in snow. If you are likely to encounter all three sets of conditions clearly winters are the better choice.

What do those getting all hot under the collar fit in spring or autumn? Are your garages like a F1 pit garage?

I'll continue to switch summers to winters but if I get to spring and the winters are down to 4mm I'll leave them on over the summer and then get new ones for the next winter.
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@Chaletbeauroc, I take your point. I didn't mean that winter tyres were unsafe above 7C but rather I'm better with summers if most of my driving is above 7C. Actually I'm now thinking that cross climates are a good compromise and might switch to them when tyres need changing next.
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pam w wrote:
I don't read technical stuff about tyres much, but I don't remember anyone arguing that winter tyres are unsafe at summer temperatures at normal driving speeds on normal roads (i.e. max 70 mph in the UK). Certainly nowhere near as unsafe as summer tyres are in the winter.

My understanding is that winter tyres will not perform as well in summer temperatures, with increased stopping distances etc. So yes, I am arguing that winter tyres are less safe than winter tyres at normal driving speeds in the UK in summer.
https://www.national.co.uk/blog/can-you-use-winter-tyres-in-summer
https://www.continental-tires.com/car/tire-knowledge/tire-change-fitting/changing-tires/winter-tires-in-summer
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

There is a special place in hell, for egoistic people that don’t care for others

Golly. I hope you reserve some of that ire for people complaining (in other threads) about drivers who have their cruise controls set for 130kph on the autoroute and then take too long to overtake trucks, thereby slowing everybody down.

On the whole, the accidents caused by people sliding round on snowy roads with the wrong tyres are pretty minor compared to the pile ups caused by people driving too fast, too close, on the autoroute.


So you argue that because a specific group of people are idiots, then everybody is allowed to be an idiot ? That’s an interesting take on things.
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billb wrote:
@Chaletbeauroc, I take your point. I didn't mean that winter tyres were unsafe above 7C but rather I'm better with summers if most of my driving is above 7C. Actually I'm now thinking that cross climates are a good compromise and might switch to them when tyres need changing next.


Just got the CrossClimates mounted on the wife’s new car - Must say that I am impressed both in light snow (which what we have had here), but also in 14 degrees Celsius- Seems to be a great compromise.
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DanishRider wrote:

If you car is not up to the job, then it’s your responsibility to find another way to transport your ass on vacation - Period !


Presumably in a horsebox with one's other equine travelling companions.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@Contrarian, …indeed. Someone said to me ‘get your ass in gear’ but there’s no sign of a clutch or gear lever….just two large ears and a very loud bray.


Last edited by After all it is free Go on u know u want to! on Sun 29-01-23 11:47; edited 2 times in total
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Contrarian wrote:
DanishRider wrote:

If you car is not up to the job, then it’s your responsibility to find another way to transport your ass on vacation - Period !


Presumably in a horsebox with one's other equine travelling companions.


Whatever works buddy.
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Quote:

So you argue that because a specific group of people are idiots, then everybody is allowed to be an idiot ? That’s an interesting take on things.

Are you irrational as well as irascible? I said I hoped you were equally critical of people who drove too fast and too close to the car in front.
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pam w wrote:
Quote:

So you argue that because a specific group of people are idiots, then everybody is allowed to be an idiot ? That’s an interesting take on things.

Are you irrational as well as irascible? I said I hoped you were equally critical of people who drove too fast and too close to the car in front.


Here’s the deal buddy - People being idiots is purely on them, and unfortunately it appears that there is trend of people not using their brain - I myself drive with my adaptive CC on, since I really don’t like being all up in other drivers ass, and really try hard to not end up in an accident - The exact same reason that I have winters on when I am anywhere near the mountains, or it snows here.

Some people are idiots - Darwin will sort some of them, I just don’t hope that any innocent people get hurt in the process.

What in reality is happening here is, that you try to deflect the topic.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@DanishRider, Given that Pam is one of the great voices of reason and experience on Snowheads, your annoyance in her direction is a little misplaced. A moment of calm would not go amiss.
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Re the winter-in-summer topic: I've read a number of tests comparing winters and summers, undertaken in summer. One of them, bizarrely, in the Mojave desert in May in a US magazine. I don't know what their point is, really, because no one with separate winter and summer sets will have their winters on in the summer. We all know that winters have a longer braking distance in the warm compared to summers, and can be prone to overheating - but no one's going to be using them then anyway.

There is a long argument you can sustain over all-seasons-year-round vs separate summers-in-summer + winters-in-winter vs summers-year-round+chains. That's been done to death elsewhere and the choice depends on a complex weighting of different factors.

Re the 'running my tyres down to the legal minimum over the summer' topic: Bear in mind that many tyres, especially performance types, suffer disproportionate increases in braking distance as the tread drops below 4mm. That's in the dry and warm, and applies to all types (summer, winter and all-season). By 2mm a tyre may be taking 9m+ extra to stop compared to 4mm (@50mph/80kph). So just be aware of this if you are trying to eke out as much mileage/kms as possible as the tread wears down to the legal minimum.


Last edited by So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much on Mon 30-01-23 14:08; edited 3 times in total
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You know it makes sense.
sugarmoma666 wrote:
pam w wrote:
I don't read technical stuff about tyres much, but I don't remember anyone arguing that winter tyres are unsafe at summer temperatures at normal driving speeds on normal roads (i.e. max 70 mph in the UK). Certainly nowhere near as unsafe as summer tyres are in the winter.

My understanding is that winter tyres will not perform as well in summer temperatures, with increased stopping distances etc. So yes, I am arguing that winter tyres are less safe than winter tyres at normal driving speeds in the UK in summer.
https://www.national.co.uk/blog/can-you-use-winter-tyres-in-summer
https://www.continental-tires.com/car/tire-knowledge/tire-change-fitting/changing-tires/winter-tires-in-summer


Interesting that both these links are from sources that benefit from people buying more tyres. And both lack any empirical information related to the performance of winter tyres in summer conditions. Like exactly what is the impact on stopping distances? The only impact that they do quantify to some extent is increased tyre wear (although even that is a bit wooly).
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Well I now have Michelin cross-climate tyres for the first time. For the 15 winters I spent in the Alps I swapped winters/summers. And when I next drive to the Alps - albeit not till April - I will have snow chains too and will have practised putting them on before leaving Hampshire, as they will be new to me. One of the last times I put chains on my winter tyres was in April after a "sunny snow storm" with a couple of inches of extraordinarily slippery snow on a fairly steep bit of road. They were needed for all of 300 metres. But the car was absolutely not going up without them, despite a very delicate foot on the gas and rolling back a few times to get some momentum before the gradient (I was very used to driving in snow, it was just not going to happen).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@zikomo, true. The one I posted earlier in the thread, however, was from Nordic Road & Transport Research but got brushed away as it didn't specify the temperatures the research was undertaken at. All the sources I've found support the finding that winter tyres perform less well than summer tyres at higher temperatures.
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I'm quite prepared to believe it, @sugarmoma666, and perhaps my cross-climate Michelins won't do quite as well in winter, or quite as well in summer, as the "correct" tyres either. Life is a compromise......
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Re winters in warmer conditions: any difference at transitional temperatures - those you'll get in early spring and late autumn - aren't going to be significant. I'm thinking of those periods where the temperature is fluctuating around 10°C-12°C, but dropping down to 5°C or up to 15°C every so often. Most owners of separate winter and summer sets will have a formula they use to make the decision to swap e.g. if it stays above 10°C on their early morning commute for more than 2 weeks, then they decide to switch.

Of course, this is where all-seasons have a particular advantage. But their downside if you have a performance model is that there's often a general handling price to be paid any time of the year, and a significant price to be paid in handling vs winters in mid-winter and summers mid-summer. It's an easy decision to go for separate summers/winters on my rear-wheel-drive 330BHP convertible, but for many if not most owners, it's a very finely-balanced decision whether to go for all-seasons or not. But that's horses for courses.


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sun 29-01-23 14:30; edited 2 times in total
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As we are talking about idiot drivers can we talk about middle lane drivers and driving right up the back bottom of the car in front.
Coming home this week I followed a BMW in the third of four lanes on the M25 doing 60 mph. I'm not a fan of undertaking and the 4th lane was quite busy so I flashed my lights( probably the third time in my 45 years of driving) still carried on so when a gap came I pulled into the fourth and went to pass he then sped up to 80, bloody idiot.
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Oh yes, seen that. And he probably had a bit fat smile of self-satisfaction on his face, too. My point earlier was that this kind of crap driving on busy, high-speed, super-highways is actually a lot more dangerous than sliding round on the road to a French ski resort on summer tyres (or for that matter in heavy conditions on winter tyres when you are too stubborn or idle to stop and put the chains on when you start losing traction). The self-righteous tone of some of those opining that only homicidal idiots would drive into the mountains on summer tyres (probably the same people who erroneously assure people you will NEVER need chains on winters) just got on my tits.
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I always felt reassured by the big banks of ploughed-up snow on the side of the roads - not much chance of getting through one of those and falling to your death in the trees below. You just stay on the road and hamper the traffic behind you. I once had to stop (winter tyres but no chains, so reluctant to stop) because somebody was fitting chains, too late, and too slowly, blocking my carriageway. His passengers (one of them carrying those lovely boxes you get for your tart in a French patisserie.....) were standing round on the other carriageway, given advice and moral support. I stopped, got out and asked them to move off the carriageway (it seemed rude just to blast the horn) and they looked most aggrieved. You have to see the funny side. It held us up, but not for long, et c'etait quand meme pas la fin du monde.
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sugarmoma666 wrote:
@zikomo, true. The one I posted earlier in the thread, however, was from Nordic Road & Transport Research but got brushed away as it didn't specify the temperatures the research was undertaken at. All the sources I've found support the finding that winter tyres perform less well than summer tyres at higher temperatures.


Cool. I will have a look at that. Interested in this point!
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pam w wrote:
Oh yes, seen that. And he probably had a bit fat smile of self-satisfaction on his face, too. My point earlier was that this kind of crap driving on busy, high-speed, super-highways is actually a lot more dangerous than sliding round on the road to a French ski resort on summer tyres (or for that matter in heavy conditions on winter tyres when you are too stubborn or idle to stop and put the chains on when you start losing traction). The self-righteous tone of some of those opining that only homicidal idiots would drive into the mountains on summer tyres (probably the same people who erroneously assure people you will NEVER need chains on winters) just got on my tits.

Yes I use winter tyres to save me agro and my insurance costs, others sliding into my double cab pick up at 10 mph isnt going to hurt anything but their bank account, but someone causing a crash at 70 on a motorway by driving like a pillock might physically hurt, got involved in a pile up on the M25 20 years ago caused by some yobs leaving an estate car under a bridge across the three lanes and chucking diesel on the road to make people skid, it was the third time they had done it, it involved 9 vehicles at 4am, I was very grateful to be driving a 4 by 4 but every panel except the drivers door was smashed in after being hit by three other cars, I was the first vehicle on the scene and finally saw the brown car about 100 mtrs away, the moment I touched the brakes all the wheels locked up, no abs, and as it was slightly down hill the car actually sped up so I tried to steer around it but the back started to slide and I just clipped the back wheel on my frontera on the bonnet, I thought that was lucky but was then hit in the back by a car that the driver just braked and slide into the parked car and took off and hit us halfway way up the spare tyre on the back door, this spun us towards the central reservation so I did a handbrake turn to spin us round which meant facing the wrong way for a second when I was three parts round got it again by a another car and then a third one that was sliding sideways down the road.
Luckily apart from being shaken none in our car was hurt, my then 12 year old son said a few days after, " I know we were lucky but it was like dodgems for real".
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195062 wrote:
@DanishRider, Given that Pam is one of the great voices of reason and experience on Snowheads, your annoyance in her direction is a little misplaced. A moment of calm would not go amiss.

I am not taking a swing at Pam, but every selfish person that argues that summers is fine in winter conditions anywhere. Everybody that think that as long as they have chains in their car, then they are perfectly okay. Try telling that to my friend, that got a whiplash because someone didn’t have proper tires on just north of Munich, and today still have headaches three years later.

I just can’t believe the stupidity of people, that quite essentially don’t wanna splash the cash needed, to drive in conditions like the the ones you experience in the winter in alpine regions.

How many threads do we have going about this subject here on SH? I literally really don’t care if people crash and die, but unfortunately they have a tendency to hurt other people in doing it.

Luckily Germany and Austria don’t allow lesser intelligent people to be on the roads in winter conditions with a proper tire for it, but it should be enforced everywhere. How can you even discuss the reason in users summers in winter conditions in the alps ? I just don’t get it!

When I was 19 years old, and had my first VW Golf, I was out driving slowly with about 60 KM/H on a back road in April, and temperature was about 8c and all was good. The road twisted its way down into a forest, which didn’t see any sun - My newly installed summers lost all grip, and I scooted sideways into a parked truck. Imagine that being mid winter!
ski holidays
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
May or may not be true but I remember being told by a guy who worked for ADAC (German AA) that they had a lot of calls for VW transporter type vehicles with winter tyres overheating to the point of blowing out every summer. He said he had never seen it on a car only the vans and transporters.
snow conditions



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