Winter Tires – It’s time!
There is a saying regarding tires in Switzerland: “Von O bis O”, meaning that winter tires should be on cars from October to Easter (Ostern). Actually there is no law obliging people to have winter tires on their cars. However should you be found guilty of causing an accident because you do not have the proper tires on your car, you will face hefty fines and up to 3 years in jail.
Winter tires are officially tires with a minimum profile of 1.7 mm, but car associations recommend a profile of 4 mm. They really start to show their effect when temperatures start to head below of 7°Celsius (pretty soon then). If you are travelling abroad beware that Germany, Austria, France and Italy have an obligation to have winter tires in wintery situations and with requirements for tire profiles varying from 1.7 mm (Italy); 3.5mm (France) to 4 mm (Germany). So all in all it does make sense to get those tires on, and the sooner the better as most people wait for the first snow and then find that garages are booked out.
The TCS is the national car association and it is worth considering a membership to it in case you break down or you didn’t take our advice and are stranded on a snowing road somewhere because your tires aren’t gripping!