Conditions hivernales - autoroutes Sanef SAPN

Can we drive on the motorway with snow tyres?

It is allowed to drive with "snow" or winter tyres on all roads, including motorways. It is even recommended as soon as the temperature drops below 7 degrees.

That said, chains and snow socks are not allowed on the motorway unless there is heavy snow on the road. This equipment are not suitable for driving at high speeds as is the case on the motorway. Only use them if the road is snow-covered and remember to adapt your driving.

Do not use the hard shoulder to place your snow equipment.

New regulations on «snow» equipment

From November 1st 2022, the regulations concerning "snow" equipment will change, here is all you need to know! In order to improve road traffic in mountainous regions, it is now compulsory to equip your car with snow tyres (or to have chains or snow socks in your car) in certain areas in France.

The regions concerned by this regulation

Municipalities in 48 departments are affected by this regulation, these are almost exclusively municipalities located in mountainous areas (Alps, Corsica, Massif Central, Jura, Pyrenees).

To find out which communes are subject to this regulation, consult the prefectoral decrees.

What equipment is allowed?

Until 2024, all tyres grouped under the name "winter tyre" will be accepted (4-season "4S" or "All Weather" tyres are not considered as winter tyres).

From 1 November 2024, only tyres identified by the presence of both the "Alpine symbol" (39MSF) and one of the "MS", "M.S" or "M&S" markings will be accepted.

On the motorway, the use of chains or snow socks is only permitted in the event of very heavy snow. The installation of this equipment can only be used in safe areas.

On the motorway in winter, it is better to opt for:

  • winter tyres
  • all-season tyres

When to put on snow tyres?

The question of the use of snow tyres divides motorists between those who see no point in using them and are content to drive with 4-season tyres even in winter and those who forget to remove their snow tyres at the end of winter and end up spending the year with them.

However, if snow tyres considerably increase your driving comfort and safety when temperatures fall below 7 degrees, they are not suitable for regular use when temperatures rise.

Not only do winter tyres wear out quickly on dry roads, but they do not perform as well as conventional tyres! On dry roads, the braking distance of snow tyres is about 20% longer and their use leads to an extra consumption of about 0.3 litres per 100 km.

For all these reasons, remember to adapt your use of snow tyres to the temperature!

Which snow tyres should I choose?

Choosing the right snow tyres can make all the difference, so here are the things you need to consider to make sure you choose effective snow tyres that will last over time. The first step is to ask yourself how you will use them: if you regularly drive in an area with low temperatures, a lot of snow or ice, you should give priority to winter tyres with a very good grip!

Indeed, the three elements you should look for in your snow tyres are: low rolling resistance (to avoid over-consumption of fuel), the number of grooves (for fuel consumption), the number of grooves (for grip) and the structure of the (for driving comfort).

Premium tyres usually combine all three of these elements but if your budget is more limited, ask yourself which of these three benefits is your priority.

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