Winter road safety is currently in the news and tyres are pivotal to maintaining control in these conditions. Winter tyres are seen as effective but expensive and for most the cost outweighs the benefits but a new, cheaper alternative is available – but is it a worthy alternative?
“Snow socks” have been developed. Made of a textile with an elasticised edge, the fibres are "arranged at right angles in the direction of travel", allowing more effective manoeuvring through snow. The benefits include:
• lightweight and compact
• reusable repeatedly
• simple to attach
• no need to remove tyres or wheels
• prices start at just under £50
What are the disadvantages?
• only intended for use on vital and emergency journeys
• limited to speeds of 50mph
• travelling at speed on bare tarmac will very quickly destroy them
This is intriguing considering they are attracting the attention of ambulance services as a way of improving speedy vehicle mobilisation.
John Dyer of the South Central Ambulance Service said: "We've looked at traction devices for ambulances and purchased a large amount of snow socks which can be put on tyres quickly for traction and removed when the conditions are better. We looked at snow tyres for the fleet but ambulances have to be taken off the road to get them fitted and again when they are removed."
They are available online and from most Vauxhall dealers.