Why do wheel chains contribute to safe driving?


Snow chains are absolutely essential in countries with more extreme weather conditions. In our country they are less common because we don't feel they are required as often. Check when we should use them.

In the beginning, it is worth noting which snow chains are the only right decision in winter. They are made from:

  • nickel;
  • chromium;
  • manganese (possibly titanium). 

Of course, you will also find spray chains or plastic chains. However, their effectiveness and durability leave a lot to be desired, so you buy them at your own risk.

Where in our country are chains on wheels an obligation?

Snow chains for wheels are obligatory in some places in Poland. We are talking about mountainous and foothill areas and, possibly, sections of roads with an exceptionally steep slope. On the side of the road, you will find a mandatory C-18 sign that requires you to wear chains. What to do in such a situation? Of course, follow the instructions and put snow chains on the drive axle. Ignoring this sign may result in a €20 fine and 1 demerit point. However, first of all, this leads to enormous difficulties in overcoming such a section of the road.

This also applies to cars, so although Polish law does not require the driver to have such chains in the equipment of the car, it is necessary to obtain them if we are going to such areas.

How is an anti-skid chain arranged?

A single wheelset consists of two standard chains connected together holding the outer ring together. They only connect to it so that you can put the ring on the inside of the wheel and wrap the two pieces of chain around the tire. Chains include:

  • pulleys and tension elements;
  • hooks for snapping previously tensioned links.

An alternative to classic tire chains are rim adapters that fit directly onto the rim.

Where to put car chains in the car?

The answer is simple - you need to put them on each driven axle. You can't afford to put one chain on just one wheel. If you have a four wheel drive vehicle, you will need 4 snow chains to ensure they are all properly secured. Thanks to this, you will have adequate grip on icy and snowy roads. Of course, not all chain types are suitable for all vehicles.

How to choose anti-skid chains?

The basic rule is the correct combination with the tire size and its width. Don't be surprised if you find it difficult to find the right elements for unusual options. You will find information in the car's owner's manual about which additional winter equipment the car manufacturer provides for this car. Another issue is the scope. Snow chains can be designed for driving in light, medium and difficult conditions. Of course, the products are also adapted to the weight of the vehicle to which they are to be attached.

Snow chains - the benefits of using them

The benefits of installing car chains are undeniable - they provide much better traction on snowy and icy roads. In fact, only studded tires can compare with them, but these are not used for everyday driving. Another plus makes the driver drive more carefully. No sane person with chains on wheels would run like crazy. It can destroy not only themselves, but also the suspension elements. So you can see how chains affect security.

Automotive chains - the disadvantages of using them

However, what we consider an advantage may turn out to be a disadvantage for others. The chains require the driver to take their foot off the accelerator pedal and maintain a low speed. Therefore, for some, they may not be the ideal solution for the winter. How about wearing them? While there are simple "quick install" car chains on the market, the vast majority of them require some level of skill. Some also find it uncomfortable to get out of the car in winter and kneel in front of each drive wheel. These elements also require a cyclic check of the voltage level, so it is necessary to stop while driving.

How to put on the snow chain?

In the beginning, we will give some important tips. Before the planned route, try to conduct a trial installation of chains. This will greatly facilitate your task in the future, when there are serious obstacles on the road. Snow chains are fairly easy to put on, but it does take practice.

How to install chains step by step? Here are our tips:

  • stretch the components by the rear mounting ring. Try to first place it on the inside of the tire so that the gap between the chains is where the tire meets the ground;
  • in the next step, stretch the chain and connect its two elements;
  • then, using blocks, stretch the elements and rigidly connect them;
  • in the last step, hook the tension part and you're done!

Where to buy car chains?

The choice is really big. You can find them in online stores. There are products adapted to different models. Of course, you will find many parts in stationery stores, and if they are not in stock, then the seller will certainly be able to order them. More important than where to buy snow chains is where you should buy them.

What chains should I buy for a car?

If you decide to buy chains, try to choose branded and proven products. In popular online stores, you will find many copies at attractive prices, but with equally low durability. These products are deceptively similar to cable ties and break after the first quick contact with the ground. If safety is your priority, you should aim for certified snow chains. Another option is copies recommended by the manufacturer, but their price can make you dizzy.

How much should you spend on car chains?

The cheapest copies cost several tens of zlotys. For this amount you will buy products in the form of plastic bracelets. Material items should not exceed 50-7 euros, metal chains, of course, are more expensive. The price over 10 euros should not surprise you. Textile chains cost 180-20 euros. Stainless steel products with automatic tensioning cost about 100 euros.

If you are wearing snow chains, you must use common sense. Try not to brake hard and avoid sudden accelerations. Thanks to this, you will not quickly damage the chains or wheels. While driving, stop every few kilometers to check how tight the chains are. Also, do not exceed the mark of 40 km / h. Snow chains don't have to wait for the road to turn white. Try to pre-test them in a dry and secluded place.

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