Lux Hacks: Winter motoring

As the nights draw in and the winter chill returns, Delano shares tips for safe winter driving Pexels

As the nights draw in and the winter chill returns, Delano shares tips for safe winter driving Pexels

As the nights draw in and the winter chill returns, Delano shares tips from the ACL and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on preparing your vehicle for the cold and safe winter driving.

Winter or all-weather tyres

Under Luxembourg law, after 1 October once the cold weather hits (black ice, snow, ice and frost) motorists have to fit their vehicles with winter or all-weather tyres (marked “M.S.”, “M+S”, “M&S” or bearing the alpine symbol). This rule has been in force since 1 October 2012 and while it may seem a nuisance to have to fit them, it could save your life.

Tyre tread and lights

The minimum legally required depth of tyre tread is 1.6mm in Luxembourg. However, for safety reasons, it is recommended motorists do not let the tread and fall below 4mm, particularly in wintery conditions. Lights must also be fully working to comply with the law. You can get both checked by the Automobile Club Luxembourg, at various locations from 16 October or at the diagnostic centre from 2-17 November Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm. Click here for full details.

Check your battery

Did you know that it takes more battery power to start your vehicle in cold weather than in warmer temperatures? Make sure your battery is ready for winter by having a mechanic check it for voltage.

Windscreen wipers

Make sure your windscreen wipers are working and replace any worn blades. Also remember to regularly top up your windshield wiper fluid as it can get used up pretty fast in a snow storm. Do use high-quality no-freeze fluid and carry some extra with you in the car, just in case.

Bring it with you

If you are planning a longer journey, in addition to all the legally required accessories, ensure you have a few basics in the car--such as a torch, warm blankets, mittens and hats, anti-freeze, price scraper and snow brush, shovel and non-perishable high-energy foods like dried fruits. To be extra safe, you may also like to bring a bag of salt or cat litter for better tyre traction, or to melt snow or ice.

In an emergency

If you are stopped or stalled in wintery conditions, stay with your car and don’t overexert yourself. Put bright markers on the antennae or windows and keep the interior light on. To avoid asphyxiation, don’t leave the engine running for long periods with the windows closed. If you must run the engine, clear the exhaust of snow and run it sporadically, to keep warm.