Road rules: is it illegal to drive without snow chains and socks on my tyres in winter?

YOU might not have heard of snow chains and socks but they are a necessity when it comes to driving during adverse weather.

As winter approaches in the UK and nights draw in snow chains and socks are ideal for motorists on the road.

They not only keep the driver and its passenger’s safe in their car but also other motorists on the road.

What are snow chains and socks?

The car accessories help vehicles to stay more in control when roads start to get snow and ice.

Snow chains can be placed on the outside of a tyre giving you an overall better grip. 

They can be placed on all-four tyres but first, you need to check your tyre size, as they can range from small to XXL. 

If you’re stuck on how to do this Halfords offer a step-by-step guide online to ensure the right snow chain size fits your tyre wall. 

You can also check your vehicle’s handbook to fit out more information and if they can be fitted to your car model. 

Snow socks can also help motors cope with snowy and icy road conditions. 

They are a cheaper alternative to snow chains and are a more lightweight option, being made from a textile material. 

In Halfords, snow socks cost around £41.99 compared to £69.99 for snow chains.

The only downside to snow socks is that they have less grip on ice compared to snow chains and are more prone to wear and wear. 

This makes them a better option for a thinner layer of snow. 

Are they illegal in the UK?

In a short answer- no, however, there are certain requirements you have to follow in the UK.

UK laws insist that snow chains and socks must only be used for adverse weather conditions. 

This means you cannot have them attached to your car if there isn’t any snow on the roads. 

Using the car accessories during non-icy conditions could be deemed as an offence for the driver. 

If you were to use them during non-snowy conditions it could damage your vehicle as well as road surfaces. 

Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Sweden, insist that snow chains are a legal requirement to have in your car. 

What can drivers do to prepare cars for snow and winter?

Drivers should look to switching to winter prone tyres which offer a better grip during colder weather conditions. 

They make it easier for motorists to drive, however, there is no legal requirement to do so. 

Getting your car serviced is also another way to prepare for the winter months.

During a service, a mechanic will check your tyres, lights, oil, battery, coolant and antifreeze as well as your windscreen wipes. 

This will give you a better insight into what to look out for and prevent any further problems for your vehicle. 

During this time of year, it would also be wise to pack a winter car kit.

This should include a scraper and de-icer, spare batteries, antifreeze and coolant to help ensure a safer drive. 

We explain how you can now get fined for WAITING in your car

We've also looked at what drivers should pack before hitting the roads ahead of snow

We also explain how playing Christmas songs in your car can leave you a hefty fine

 

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