Alpine Driving Tips

Driving in the snow is very different to driving under normal conditions. This website has been created to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable journey when driving to your destination in Alpine areas, by providing expert advice to ensure you are prepared for your next trip. Take care and enjoy your trip to the mountains.

Parking Tips

Take note of the following tips to ensure you do not run into trouble when parking in alpine areas.

  • Park only where directed. If you do not, you run the risk of another vehicle or snow clearing vehicle, running into what looks to the driver like just another drift of snow.
  • Do not apply the handbrake: moisture can freeze the cables and brake linings.
  • Leave the car in gear with the front wheels turned away from the slope.
  • Always park as close to the bank as possible, to leave room for two-way traffic.
  • Do not use rocks to chock wheels as they may damage snow clearing machines.
  • Remove wheel chocks from parking area when leaving.
  • Even if chains were not required to enter the area, it is advisable to fit them when parking. It is much easier than trying to fit them later for the return trip if weather conditions change or the vehicle is snowbound.
  • Cover the radiator to help prevent freezing.
  • Periodically clear snow from on and around the vehicle.

More Hints

  • Lift wipers from windscreen or place in a plastic bag if parking for an extended period so that wipers do not stick to the glass.
  • Cover door locks with masking tape to stop locks freezing up.
  • Leave the car in gear with the front wheels turned away from the slope.
  • Don't use wooden chocks, these tend to slip on icy surface.
  • Clear all glass and mirrors of ice before attempting to drive away from snowfields.
  • For fast de-misting of the front windscreen, use the car's heater and fan in conjunction with the vehicle's air conditioner.
  • Warm the engine for a few minutes before driving off.
  • Motoring on alpine roads not only requires concentration and adept driving skills, but also a lot of patience. Keep your cool if stuck in a long queue of traffic, and always follow directions by resort staff and road signs. They are there for your safety.
  • Important note for diesel vehicles: If you drive a diesel vehicle we recommend that you fill up in towns closest to the mountain who supply alpine diesel as the cold temperatures in the alpine environment can affect diesel fuel. Please ensure you check with your owner/operators manual for any advice on entering alpine or cold climate areas.
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