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Old 30.10.2008, 10:35
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No sense of danger driving in snow

I spent about 3 hours today shovelling snow from my driveway watching a long line of cars attempting to climb the small gradient at the end of the field. Not one of the drivers allowed the vehicle in front any space for a second attempt. Each one followed the other with inches between and they all got very upset when they started bumping into each other. No wonder there are more vehicle body repair shops than bakeries in Switzerland. The majority of drivers are completely clueless.

After the snow plows had been through the village twice most of the traffic had dispersed and I took my kids to school. So what if they are an hour late, at least they stand a chance of arriving alive. The standard of driving here is truly atrocious. Even with winter tyres drivers should allow 12 times the normal braking distance when driving on snow. I pulled over twice to let cars pass me that were insistant on following with less than a vehicle length for braking distance. One car even overtook me and the snow plow I was following on a hillside bend.

So if you know someone that is so determined to arrive at their destination on time no matter what the road conditions are. Someone who is so impatient and arrogant that they have no regard for the safety of other road users, take their car keys off them and save someone else's life.
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Old 30.10.2008, 10:43
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I agree the standard is really bad and when the snow comes you get to see real evidence.

Early on in my Swiss life I took a TCS winter driving course (1 day) which can be done at any time in the year except winter (!!) - they use water to simulate winter.

It was most instructive to see how the different road conditions impact braking distance. I can highly recommend the course. You take it in your own car which you have to empty of all stuff as you get to spin a lot!
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Old 30.10.2008, 10:53
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I suspect that the normal absolutely SH*ITE Swiss driving manners were combined this morning with the fact that the snow-fall caught a lot of people still with summer tyres on, resulting in a really poisonous cocktail.

Having said all that, at least things will calm down when the winter tyres get put on. The muppet standards of driving that you see in the UK when we get our annual 3 inches of snow are astonishing. On an early morning run, I once saw a BMW going sideways down a long dual carriageway hill, trying to accelerate out of the slide. His tyres eventually hit something that gripped, the car spun like a top, and he tore off his two front wheels against the curb of the roundabout at the bottom of the hill. I larrfed.

Cheers

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Old 30.10.2008, 11:07
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I drove back from France yesterday, and the weather from Basel on was attrocious. My intention was to get winter tyres this week anyway, so the snow has caught me out. Coming down the hill from the apartment to the main Zurich road was just a joke, no traction whatsoever. The drive to Zug took 40 mins rather that the normal 20, but still people were trying to over take, cutting in, and ride in my boot like the white stuf just wasn't there....w4nkers.

I got to Egger in Zug and the only appointment the can give is for 12th Nov ...and then the want chf 892 ( with 40% J & J discount) just for a set of Continental winter boots, and they can't do replacement rims & tyres as my car has some poxy air pressure thing so and the valves are chf 150 a pop, and the wheels have to come from the Renault.....it's a Laguna not a Bentley for gods sake.

Any rec's for a tyre place that can do a tyre change this winter...and leave me at least one kidney
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:12
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I came in late this morning as I changed the wheels over on both our cars. I was hoping not to have to do this as I'm still trying to get over a chest infection (thanks to the smoke infested bars in Geneva). I then joined the parade of cars going into Zurich which took forever, once in town there was very little traffic.

Think work was not happy me coming in late (I did let them know early this morning) but at least I was coming safely. I could have come by train but would have been an equal nightmare getting to the station.
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:18
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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I drove back from France yesterday, and the weather from Basel on was attrocious. My intention was to get winter tyres this week anyway, so the snow has caught me out. Coming down the hill from the apartment to the main Zurich road was just a joke, no traction whatsoever. The drive to Zug took 40 mins rather that the normal 20, but still people were trying to over take, cutting in, and ride in my boot like the white stuf just wasn't there....w4nkers.

I got to Egger in Zug and the only appointment the can give is for 12th Nov ...and then the want chf 892 just for a set of Continental winter boots, and they can't do replacement rims & tyres as my car has some poxy air pressure thing so and the valves are chf 150 a pop, and the wheels have to come from the Renault.....it's a Laguna not a Bentley for gods sake.

Any rec's for a tyre place that can do a tyre change this winter...and leave me at least one kidney
Not sure as it sounds like you need a specialised valves. Might be worth trying to find a place across the French border. The snow won't last and the weather forecast is a lot warmer for the next week so worth looking around. You could try http://www.reifendirekt.ch http://www.reifendirekt.de/ the problem is I don't think they ship complete wheels in Switzerland, but you might be able to arrange to have them fitted in a Garage across the border in Germany (they can send tyres direct to garages in Switzerland so guess they do this in Germany too. I did find one place in Germany that ships complete wheels here, will see if I still have the details otehrwise Goooooooooooogle
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:18
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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I came in late this morning as I changed the wheels over on both our cars. I was hoping not to have to do this as I'm still trying to get over a chest infection (thanks to the smoke infested bars in Geneva). I then joined the parade of cars going into Zurich which took forever, once in town there was very little traffic.

Think work was not happy me coming in late (I did let them know early this morning) but at least I was coming safely. I could have come by train but would have been an equal nightmare getting to the station.
The traffic on the Zug to Zurich road was just solid this morning in both directions, was it just the snow as I never saw any accident debris? Is there a good place in Affolern for tyres szhjcn? I really would like to be safe, sooner rather than later.
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:25
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I took public transport this morning and that was delayed about half hour on the normal jouney time. I still have summer tyres and this lot will be gone by the weekend not to be seen again till mid Dec so I would not stress to much about getting the tyres changed. As for cheap tyres go to a small independant guy and order them in August you can haggle then, now is take it or leave it price time.

DC
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:26
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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The traffic on the Zug to Zurich road was just solid this morning in both directions, was it just the snow as I never saw any accident debris? Is there a good place in Affolern for tyres szhjcn? I really would like to be safe, sooner rather than later.
There's the tyre place in Affoltern am Albis on the way out to Hedingen.

I had my last tyres shipped directly to the Garage near the recycling place. I think this is a Renault garage. Drive into road of the Coop, past McDonalds, and they are on the right just before the bend.

Albis-Garage Schaub
Industriestrasse 20
8910 A.a.A

044 761 48 48

Sooner you call the better, I'm sure everyone is panicking right now and are trying to get winter tyres sorted.

Glad I can change these myself. A major plus point of having separate set of wheels and a decent trolley jack
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:35
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

http://ch.euromaster.ch/autowartung/...-standorte.htm
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:35
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

Google.ch search: Winterreifen - Switzerland:

http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/vorte...to/reifen.html

http://www.reifendirekt.ch/

http://www.densoag.ch/winterreifen.html

http://www.reifenhaus.ch/winterreifen

etc.....
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Old 30.10.2008, 11:40
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

ZIS was closed today, probably because the Busses they use to transport the kids don't have winter tyres on yet (I guess).
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Old 30.10.2008, 12:12
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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I agree the standard is really bad and when the snow comes you get to see real evidence.

Early on in my Swiss life I took a TCS winter driving course (1 day) which can be done at any time in the year except winter (!!) - they use water to simulate winter.

It was most instructive to see how the different road conditions impact braking distance. I can highly recommend the course. You take it in your own car which you have to empty of all stuff as you get to spin a lot!
This course is run during the winter. They usually do it on snow covered army barracks. My girlfriend did it near Elm a few years ago, she had a great time and learned a lot about driving on snow and ice. It costs about 600CHF though.

The really good thing about it is they let you take a passenger in the car, so someone can go along and listen to what they are saying and then find somewhere to practice some other time.
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Old 30.10.2008, 12:15
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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I took public transport this morning and that was delayed about half hour on the normal jouney time. I still have summer tyres and this lot will be gone by the weekend not to be seen again till mid Dec so I would not stress to much about getting the tyres changed. As for cheap tyres go to a small independant guy and order them in August you can haggle then, now is take it or leave it price time.

DC
I can agree with DC-In-Hombi that you can take your time to too shop around, but I wouldn't advise you to not worry about getting winter tyres fitted. Winter tyres are not designed just for driving in snow; many people do not understand this. Winter tyres greatly improve grip in wet weather and cold conditions including snow. (There is plenty of facts and figures in previous threads on winter tyres so look them up).

My advice is to get the winter tyres on soon. Your insurance may not pay up if you have an accident in cold wet weather if it is decided that winter tyres would have helped to prevent it.
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Old 30.10.2008, 12:20
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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I can agree with DC-In-Hombi that you can take your time to too shop around, but I wouldn't advise you to not worry about getting winter tyres fitted. Winter tyres are not designed just for driving in snow; many people do not understand this. Winter tyres greatly improve grip in wet weather and cold conditions including snow. (There is plenty of facts and figures in previous threads on winter tyres so look them up).

My advice is to get the winter tyres on soon. Your insurance may not pay up if you have an accident in cold wet weather if it is decided that winter tyres would have helped to prevent it.
My thoughts to, I go back and forth to France and my car is still French plated and French insured so no worries there. Just after the slide coming out of the garage, then again down the hill towards the main Zug Zurich road safety is my main concern.

Just didn't fancy nearly chf 900....but this is Switzerland, so I'd better cough up and be safe.
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Old 30.10.2008, 12:28
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

Sorry all, I just realised I went off topic there. I also wanted to add that I too observed some crazy driving this morning. I have a 4x4 but unfortunately for me, it happens to be in the garage for repairs. (Pretty bad timing eh?). My wife's car only has summer tyres so I decided to use the train. Unfortunately, my local train service was cancelled so I had to walk 5kms to the next main train station. I could have risked using the wife's car but I know how useless summer tyres are in the snow so I decided to walk. (And the fact that my wife would probably kill me if I damaged her car)

Point is, I thought the Swiss were generally sensible? This morning, I did not see 1 other person walking to the next station. Instead, people were getting into cars and trying to drive in bad conditions. I witnessed a few small crashes which could have been much worse.
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Old 31.10.2008, 19:18
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

... A follow-up on my winter driving course comment ...

Here is the course location (near BERN) that I went to:

http://www.tcs.ch/main/de/home/kurse...ckental_de.pdf

Having never seen snow in UK (yes, I left before global warming / the big freeze) I really did not fully appreciate the impact of snow and ice on the car.

The TCS site in Stockental is between Bern and Thun and take individual and groups for a 1 day or more course. Use the www.tcs.ch site to find other locations throughout Switzerland including some places now with real snow.

One other thing. I did this course in September with a group of people. My tyres were old and a little flat summer tyres. It was amazing and most instructive to compare with another course member who had specially bought and installed winter tyres (!!) the day before the course.
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Old 01.11.2008, 18:40
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

I'm always vaguely annoyed/amused by the way people here seems to take snow as an excuse to blow through pedestrian crossing, usually with a look and a shrug at you as if to say 'Ah, but it would be far too dangerous for me to stop here...'
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Old 01.11.2008, 19:25
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

This very well explains why the Swiss traffic law is so strict for the people driving here and it is so difficult to pass the practical test. Simply they posses very mediocre driving skills and thus it reflects on the level requirements. Yet making the hurdle so high for us foreigners who must take the tests.
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Old 01.11.2008, 20:01
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Re: No sense of danger driving in snow

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This very well explains why the Swiss traffic law is so strict for the people driving here and it is so difficult to pass the practical test. Simply they posses very mediocre driving skills and thus it reflects on the level requirements. Yet making the hurdle so high for us foreigners who must take the tests.
The hurdle is at the same height for everybody whether Swiss or foreigners.

Also, it is a 2 way street. Swiss holders of driving licenses must take tests in the USA and elsewhere.
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