Winter Driving in Germany/ Fahren im Winter in Deutschland
Winter Driving in Germany Tires German road traffic law requires drivers to adjust the equipment of their car to the weather conditions, in particular to have appropriate tires.
Violations of the law can be fined with € 40, respectively € 80 in case of obstruction of traffic.
The law compels drivers to apply situational awareness but does not mandate the use of a particular type of tire throughout the winter. The safe decision for drivers is to get all season tires since this type should cover most situations in the local area. However, in very inclement conditions, only winter tires may be acceptable.
In addition to the fines above, car insurances routinely decline full coverage in case of accidents with bad or inappropriate tires. In some case, insurances may even legitimately limit liability insurance coverage.
Snow chains are only required if ordered by the following traffic sign.
The maximum permissible speed with snow chains is 50 kph.
Anti-Freeze In addition to appropriate tires, drivers are also required to use anti-freeze in the windshield wiper fluid when winter weather threatens to freeze the fluid.
The fines are identical to the tire fines, € 20 or € 40 in case of traffic obstruction.
Car Idling Unnecessary car idling is prohibited under state and local environmental and noise laws as well as traffic law. The standard fine for causing unnecessary noise or exhaust pollution is € 10. Local or state ordinance fines can be higher.
Peephole Driving “Peephole” driving is also prohibited.
Any driver is responsible that the view from the car is not obstructed.
This means that the front, rear and side windows must be completely cleared from snow and ice.
Again, the minimum fine is € 10 but can be higher based on local standards and may significantly increase if there’s an accident due to obstructed view or ice sheets flying off from a car. Failures in this regard will also have a negative impact on insurance coverage.