in winter, socks are as effective as snow tires

While the Mountain Law is making a comeback from November 1st in certain departments, is it better to opt for socks or winter tires for your electric car? One of the solutions would be more effective than the second, find out which one.

She’s making her comeback. It is of course the Mountain Law, which comes into force again this Tuesday, November 1 and this until March 31. A measure which concerns no less than 48 departments, mainly located in mountainous areas, such as the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Massif Central, the Jura, the Vosges and even Corsica.

The zones are then marked by specific signs, installed at the entrance and exit. In these areas, all vehicles must then be equipped with winter tires, chains or even snow socks.

A full-scale test

If 3PMSF (Three Peak Mountain Snow Flake) rubbers are highly recommended, tires bearing the inscription M+S (Mud + Snow) are no longer permitted. All-seasons are also accepted, provided they bear the 3PMSF marking.

But there are also other alternatives, such as chains or socks. Less expensive, they are also very practical and can be kept in the trunk. But are they as effective?

This is the question that journalists from Automobile Magazine. The latter in fact wanted compare winter and all-season tires, as well as chains and socks.

To do this, they went to the Alpe d’Huez resort behind the wheel of a Peugeot 3008 to carry out various tests on the ice circuit. 0 to 40 km/h on the flat, starting on a slope, braking at 50 km/h or even turns, all the situations that a motorist driving in the mountains could encounter could be tested.

If the engine of the SUV has not been specified, this should not have a big impact on the results. Nevertheless, the use of chains and socks varies depending on the architecture of the vehicle, depending on whether it has two or four-wheel drive. Also note that electric cars need specific tires, due to their higher weight and many other parameters.

An efficient system

After testing the SUV in all conditions and using various tools such as a radar, a stopwatch or even a brakeograph, the teams of theAutomobile Magazine came to an unexpected conclusion, to say the least. Indeed, according to them, snow socks would be more effective in most situations than winter tires.

This is particularly the case when cornering, but also when accelerating on the flat. These allow 0 to 40 km/h in 6.3 seconds, compared to 7.3 for winter tires and 8.1 seconds for all four seasons.

Chains are also a good alternative, but are slightly inferior in this exercise. On the other hand, they allow more effective braking, but still less than winter tires. In any case, all-season tires lag behind, regardless of the experiment conducted.

Globally, chains and socks are therefore the most effective alternatives. However, the latter are more difficult to install and cost much more. If you occasionally go to the mountains, the first solution seems the most suitable, whatever the engine. But whatever system you choose, be careful install it on all drive wheels of your vehicleeven if it has all-wheel drive!

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If you are still hesitant about switching to winter tires, watch this video of a Tesla Model S equipped with different tires while braking on icy surfaces. The result speaks for itself.

Finally, the Swiss TCS association has just published its ranking of the best winter tires which you can find here. And if you’re in a hurry, here are the four best winter tires in the study. The Michelin Alpin 6, the Dunlop Winter Sport 5, the Continental WinterContact TS870 and the Goodyear UltraGrip 9+.

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