Important rules for moving around Switzerland in winter

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Important rules for moving around Switzerland in winter
  • Jan 22, 2021

Important rules for moving around Switzerland in winter

Winter driving in Switzerland can be dangerous if your vehicle is not properly equipped. Here’s what you should know before driving in snowy weather.

This information comes from the Touring Club Suisse (TCS), Switzerland’s largest automotive organization.

There is no legal obligation to equip your vehicle with winter tires.

This is kind of a contradiction because while the law does not require winter tires, it states that the driver must be able to maintain control of the vehicle at all times and under all circumstances, and the vehicle must be weather-adapted.

If you choose not to wear winter tires and are involved in an accident, your insurance may reduce your compensation. And in the event that the accident occurred through your fault, the insurance company can file a claim for negligence on you.

If you are using winter tires, keep in mind that the minimum tread size required by law is 1.6mm, but 4mm is recommended.

If there is snow and ice on mountain roads, the vehicle must be equipped with chains.

However, you are only required to wear chains when you see the mandatory snow chains sign. Chains must be capable of starting, braking and lateral guidance on snow and ice.

It is recommended to install a chain on at least two drive wheels on one axle and never exceed a speed of 50 km / h.

Failure to comply with the obligation to use snow chains can cost you 100 francs.

Remove snow and ice from the car before setting off.

This should be self-evident, but many drivers neglect to properly clear the roof and bonnet and defrost the windshield, windows, mirrors and headlights to ensure optimal visibility.

Snow falling from the roof poses a danger to other vehicles on the road and you could be fined 200 francs if stopped by the police.

But in typical Swiss fashion, you cannot use any products to remove ice from a car, as the government requires them to “respect the environment.”

The Federal Environment Office lists ingredients that should be used for defrosting.

Regardless of whether you are driving in winter or at other times of the year, Switzerland has new road rules that came into force on January 1st.

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