Snow tires help ensure safe driving

The German automobile club ADAC and German police recommend mounting snow tires now as the weather changes.

When temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, drivers should
replace their summer tires, which are not suitable for cold street
surfaces, said police officials.

Snow tires should not be older than six to eight years and the tread
should be at least four millimeters or 0.16 inches. Because of their
special rubber mixture, snow tires also have a better grip on icy and
wet roads, increasing safety.

In Germany, there are about 185 days of winter weather, and traffic accidents happen six times as often than in the summer.

The German government plans to decide on a winter tire law Dec. 16 and
implement it possibly in the new year. The new law will require
appropriate tires for winter street conditions. The fine is expected to
be €20 for those who don’t have these tires and €40 if cars break down
and impact traffic.

“The goal is to avoid – in extreme winter conditions – cars breaking
down due to wrong tires, causing traffic accidents and impacting
traffic,” said Eduard Oswald, chief of the traffic commission of the
federal parliament.

According to ADAC officials a few questions still have to be clarified
by the federal parliament: Are all-season tires considered winter tires?
(Courtesy of ADAC and Westpfalz Police Headquarters, Kaiserslautern).