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Snow, is it really so different in the UK?

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Snow, is it really so different in the UK?

Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:16
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Snow, is it really so different in the UK?

It may not happen every year but it always seems that whenever the White fluffy stuff falls out of the sky the UK grinds to a halt.
Yet counties on a similar latitude appear to cope admirably.
What do these countries do that allows life to continue whenever a dusting of snow touches down?
Could the fitting of the appropriate type of tyres during the winter months be the solution?
In Germany, I believe, if one is involved in an Rta without winter tyres during the winter months, the insurance payout has a significant reduction.
Is it the "Health and Safety" culture that has made us all so nervous?
I know what my opinion is, I would be interested in the Blasters's .
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:21
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if it happens frequently it's cost effective to have the machinery and infrastructure to deal with it; if it's uncommon it's more cost effective just to live with the consequences. Just basic economics at work - there are higher priority needs to spend the money on.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:25
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Here in Vikingwinterland we use snow tyres, never bought a car without two complete sets, except for when we lived in the Phils.
Not mandatory, but try having an accident without. Many also choose studded tyres, good on black ice, haven't used them myself for the last 15 years. Studless will be fine on snow and rough ice.

Three more items:
  • Wash tyres frequently during winter, even in summer it's a good ide.
  • Make sure the hand brake is between front seats. I hate my wife's Mercedes.
  • Drive faster than everyone else on the road.
Per
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:33
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Have you seen the price of winter tyres?????????? From 'Which'........

5) How much do winter tyres cost?

Ideally, you need a second set of rims to which to fit your winter tyres. In many countries that already use winter tyres, drivers often opt for steel rims, which are less likely to corrode after exposure to winter grit.
Four winter tyres and spare rims for a Mini start from £560, excluding assembly. However, if you’re a family-hatch driver, KwikFit quoted £635 for a set of four 205/55 R16 Goodyear Ultragrip8 winter tyres (Nov 2011) – but additional rims are extra. Punctures are a distinct possibility - buy five winter tyres not four.

However, we think if you’re fitting winter tyres, it’s worth carrying a winter spare as well – since fitting a summer spare alongside three winter ones could seriously upset your car’s handling, whether it’s cold or not.

Those up-front costs may seem eye-watering, but overall costs aren’t actually as high as they sound. You’ll get wear from both sets of tyres, so once you’ve made the initial investment, the average time between replacements will be roughly doubled.
Unless you have room in the garage or shed, you'll probably also need to pay to store your 'out-of-season' wheels – several fast fit centres and car dealers are already offering this facility at a relatively low cost

Ps. Those are 2011 prices

Last edited by dazdaz1; 3rd Feb 2015 at 13:44.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:54
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There are several reasons for not bothering with "winter" tyres in the uk
(1) mostly we don't have extended periods of very low temps
example my location is just 40 miles south of Hadrian's wall and this is my local observatory averages:
(°C) Max. Min. temp
Jan 6.1 2.2
Feb 6.2 2
Mar 7.9 3.2
Apr 10.2 4.7
Oct 12.5 7.9
Nov 9.1 5.1
Dec 6.8 2.8
Mostly the "mins" are at night/dawn. So for most drivers most of the time the temperature will be at or above th +7deg that is upper limit of winter tyres

(2) British insurers are rip-off merchants of the very highest caliber
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice....htmlInsurance implications - winter tyres

If you fit winter or all-season tyres in place of your standard 'summer' tyres there should be no need to tell your insurer – even though the speed index might be lower.............
..............Over the winter of 2010/11 we did hear reports of some insurers increasing premiums or remarkably even refusing cover if winter tyres are fitted. As a result we recommend talking to your insurer if you are considering fitting winter tyres.

(3) The COST - probably over £1000 for 5 wheels & tyres for my Ovlov piece of automotive shyte - forget it

(4) I think I may have above average mileage - I usually clock up betwee 12 and 15 thousand a year, but I notice tthat a lot of cars are sold on these "personal leases" where the mileage allowance is 6-8 thousand. So for (average on 8000 miles/yr) the winter period that represents around 2700 miles. Got to question the cost/benefit relationship here.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 13:58
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Winter tyres are an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can with a set of ordinary tyres.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:04
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we don't get a lot of snow - so when we do get it -

1. Everyone gets a little excited so they make a big song and dance about it in the Media.

2. Because we don't get much snow People don't know how to drive on it so you end up with either lots of accidents, cars stuck or very slow moving traffic on every affected road!

3. Health and Safety - thats why public places, schools, stations, buses and airports grind to a halt.

4. Other countries on the same lattitude often get harsher and colder winters because they don't have the gulf stream, so have more investment and experience in snow clearance.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:07
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You don't get much snow maliyahsdad2? Lucky you. Unlike us, who get way too much snow.

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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:09
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I was in Jersey (Channel islands) a few years ago when they had about a quarter of an inch of snow.
The whole place almost ground to a stop!
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:13
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Originally Posted by funfly View Post
I was in Jersey (Channel islands) a few years ago when they had about a quarter of an inch of snow.
The whole place almost ground to a stop!
To be fair, Jersey is probably halfway there without Snow.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:15
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Just opened my front door...guess I'm using the back today!


note impression of door handle on RHS

n.b. Not everywhere copes - the weather has just cleared in the last half hour, but basically the entire Island is shut down right now.
We've just had 60cm of snow plus drifting with winds of 100km/hr. Even the plows are off the road due to whiteout. Emergency services unavailable, nor power crews. Luckily only about 70 without power.


'Nutha one on Thursday!
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:18
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Fox3:

Glad you're enjoying the snow which came to you via the Northeast U.S.!

You know what they say about pay back, eh?
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:20
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Snow? Love it!

I shall be getting out my miniplow after lunch for a spot of driveway clearing.
Boys & Toys!

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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 14:35
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It's not just the UK, it's anywhere that gets very little snow. When I lived in the Netherlands they went to pieces just like the UK does, and you should see what happens in the Southern USA when a dusting of snow hits...

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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 15:32
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Winter tyres are an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can with a set of ordinary tyres.
UFO version of above.

Winter practice & experience is an obvious aid to road safety. Simply put, you can drive faster and in greater safety in more atrocious road conditions than you can withouit it.

Oh, and if driving a fairly high powered RWD car, a couple of hundredweight blocks of concrete in the boot.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 16:59
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Originally Posted by dazdaz1 View Post
Have you seen the price of winter tyres??????????
A set of the best-rated winter tires for our SUV and a second set of wheels to put them on cost about $1600 a few months ago. I think that would have been about 1000UKP at the time. Which seems a lot, but they're on the car six months a year, and they should last five years or more before the rubber gets too old to grip properly.

In the UK, OTOH, there just isn't enough snow to justify the cost. Though there are 'all weather tires' now which are winter-rated but also usable in the summer... normal winter tires are too soft and wear out too fast when used in warm weather.

Edit: around here, three or four inches of snow doesn't cause too many problems, but six inches starts to delay things as idiots crash because they were tailgating on bald summer tires.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 17:27
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There's winter tyres and then there's winter tyres.

Back in the 1960s, when we had serious snow in Northern England, I used to fit 'Town and Country' tyres that had deep tread blocks - essential for traction in deep snow with a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
The removed wheels and tyres were then fitted with snow-chains and carried in case things got really bad (which they occasionally did).
Then it was just a case of switching wheels.

Nowadays I don't bother, but what they want to sell you are low-temperature tyres that have better compliance below 7 deg C, have extra sipes but no significant size of tread blocks.

I do, however, carry 'snowsocks' and also chains in case I find myself in adverse conditions.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 17:55
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I love snow.

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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 18:48
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We had between 30 and 50mm of dry powder snow overnight. I drove to work and on a narrow lane found that traffic had backed up and come to a halt.

Walking past a couple of dozen cars I found the lane blocked on a 90 deg bend by a small 4x4 (one of those "crossover" things). The driver (female) was hysterical, with two kids in the back, skidding all over the place as she was completely clueless about driving on snow.

It took over ten minutes to persuade her to move to the passenger seat and let me drive her car around the bend to the clear stretch ahead. It took all of 30 seconds to get her car on to the straight downhill stretch, where she gt back in and proceeded to bounce from bank to bank down the lane, basically because she was just far, far too dumb to be allowed to drive a car.

The 30 or so cars that had backed up when this fiasco was going on were mightily pissed off, and from what I could see none had any problems at all driving down the snow covered lane.

I suspect that 99% of UK snow related problems are created by people like the imbecile driving this 4 x 4. She clearly hadn't got the faintest idea of how to drive on snow, and despite me giving her a few quick tips on taking things really steadily, with no sharp acceleration or braking, she insisted on hitting the gas pedal hard enough to get all four wheels spinning, then locking all wheels up in the resulting skid.

If it's snowing again tomorrow, I'm going to leave home ten minutes earlier, in the hope I don't meet her on the same lane, as I have the distinct impression that she's someone w wil never, ever, learn how to drive on snow.
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Old 3rd Feb 2015, 19:16
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P.S. They are not Snow tyres/tires, they are Winter tyres/tires. Summer tyres perform poorly at 4C and lower, and don't like going from below 4C to above 4C on a fairly regular basis.

Winter tyres handle the extremes much better. I wouldn't use summer tyres in the winter, nor would I use crap All-season tyres, which are poor in every season.
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