Winter tyres: advice for safe driving - Driving a 4x4 or SUV well in winter

Driving a 4x4 or SUV well in winter

Winter tyres Published the 11/12/2010

Advice for safely driving your 4x4 or SUV on winter roads, from Philippe Ullmann, racing driver with ASP Competition and instructor.

Picture of pilot Philippe Ullman Copyright © : Etienne Crébessègues

Beware of obstacles
Although fresh snow poses hardly any problems for a 4x4 fitted with snow tyres, it may however conceal obstacles. It should therefore be approached with precaution.

When snow is compacted, the roadway may become slippery. On sloping mountainous roads, only chains provide sufficient traction.

Anticipate braking
On a slippery road, use the engine brake to slow down gradually. Although ABS reduces the risks of wheel locking, remember that stopping distances vary with road conditions.

What to do if you lose grip?*
Excessive speed or sudden braking may cause you to lose contact with the road. If this is the case :

  • Release the accelerator and brake pedals fully.
  • Shift into neutral or disengage the clutch.
  • Do not take your eyes off the road.
  • Wait for the wheels to recover their grip.
  • Release the clutch.
  • Resume driving at a more appropriate speed.

* This advice is given for information only and in no way shall incur the liability of rezulteo. 

Further reading
>> Winter tyres for 4x4 and SUVs

Philippe Ullmann, an experienced racing driver

What is the ideal way to drive in winter? What should you do if the vehicle loses grip? To answer these questions, Rezulteo went to Philippe Ullmann for advice, a racing driver with the ASP Competition team. In GT since 1998 and V de V, the team has clocked up numerous wins, namely in the Coupe de France (2003).

As well as his racing activity, Philippe Ullmann organises track driving courses. More information at