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(WTOP)   A look at why so many of the accidents after a major snowstorm seem to involve SUVs with four-wheel drive   (wtop.com) divider line 232
    More: Dumbass, four-wheel-drive  
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17451 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Mar 2013 at 10:30 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-06 09:06:17 AM
"Four-wheel drive can be useful in helping you get going and helping you gain traction when you're driving especially, for example, up big hills," Anderson says.
"But when it gets very slippery, you begin to have problems with traction."


What, was the obvious tag out to a movie or something?

/all cars have 4 brakes
 
2013-03-06 09:07:33 AM
Answer: tires
 
2013-03-06 09:13:57 AM
People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.
 
2013-03-06 09:23:29 AM
10 Red Flags That Suggest the Person Driving a 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle Doesn't Actually Know How to Operate One:

1) The 4X4 looks more like a mini-van.
2) The 4X4 is spotlessly clean.
3) The 4X4 is regularly parked in the suburbs.
4) The 4X4 has an automatic lift gate or sliding side door.
5) The 4X4 has personalized plates that do not appear to reference hunting.
6) There are young children in the 4X4.
7) There is no dog in the 4X4, or if there is a dog it is a poodle.
8) There is a luggage carrier located somewhere on the 4X4, either atop it or on a small platform hooked to the back.
9) When operating the 4X4 in normal conditions, the driver goes around speed bumps in parking lots.
10) The person refers to his or her 4X4, which is not a pickup, as a "truck."
 
2013-03-06 09:24:53 AM

vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.


So very this.
If you don't know how to drive in snow, the SUV can't help you, other than to get you further off the road when you loose control.
 
2013-03-06 09:29:36 AM

sno man: vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.

So very this.
If you don't know how to drive in snow, the SUV can't help you, other than to get you further off the road when you loose control.


At least they are out of the way so people who know how to drive can keep going.
 
2013-03-06 09:33:14 AM

Pocket Ninja: 10 Red Flags That Suggest the Person Driving a 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle Doesn't Actually Know How to Operate One:

6) There are young children in the 4X4.


I own a truck that can go 4x4 and take my daughter to a parking lot to do donuts after it snows.  Does that disqualify me?

/also sometimes take my hound-mix to the grocery store.  I'll come out and see her sitting in the driver seat.
 
2013-03-06 09:43:03 AM

grokca: sno man: vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.

So very this.
If you don't know how to drive in snow, the SUV can't help you, other than to get you further off the road when you loose control.

At least they are out of the way so people who know how to drive can keep going.


Good point!
 
2013-03-06 09:50:35 AM
Because dumbasses think they're immune and capable of driving through anything just because they're in something big.
 
2013-03-06 10:03:04 AM

vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.


The problem with DC drivers (and I'm one of them) is that everyone is from somewhere else. Very few natives here. So you get a road full of people from all over the world, some places that don't even have traffic laws so much as suggestions, all bringing their own sensibilities to how THEY think everyone should or will drive. It does make driving more difficult when you can't predict what the drivers in front of you will do, or when you do one thing and another driver was thinking you'd do something else.

For me it's the left turn lanes that have the arrow, but when the arrow goes off there's a solid green and you can turn left provided no traffic is coming the other way. In the midwest where I'm from, cars pull out into the intersection, so that you can get up to three cars waiting to turn left. Then when the light turns red, those cars can clear the intersection. In northern Virginia, people sit at the stop line and don't go out into the intersection. It kills me every time that we have to sit through an entire cycle just because a person doesn't know how or desires not to do that.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-06 10:03:34 AM
Instead of a "gas guzzler" tax, how about a drive wheel tax?
 
2013-03-06 10:18:00 AM

Pocket Ninja: 10 Red Flags That Suggest the Person Driving a 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle Doesn't Actually Know How to Operate One:

1) The 4X4 looks more like a mini-van.
2) The 4X4 is spotlessly clean.
3) The 4X4 is regularly parked in the suburbs.
4) The 4X4 has an automatic lift gate or sliding side door.
5) The 4X4 has personalized plates that do not appear to reference hunting.
6) There are young children in the 4X4.
7) There is no dog in the 4X4, or if there is a dog it is a poodle.
8) There is a luggage carrier located somewhere on the 4X4, either atop it or on a small platform hooked to the back.
9) When operating the 4X4 in normal conditions, the driver goes around speed bumps in parking lots.
10) The person refers to his or her 4X4, which is not a pickup, as a "truck."


I'm not excusing the suburbanites, men and women, who drive their glorified minivans thinking they can just cruise through any condition, on the phone, with reckless abandon.  But around here (SLC), it's anyone with a big vehicle.  The F-250 drivers and Ram 2500 drivers and old souped up off-roaders  that are actually used for offroading all drive like morons when some snow starts to fall.  My impression is that these types think they are being cool if they gun it off the line following a redlight, or cruise by traffic at 45 mph ,when everyone else is going 25 mph due to road conditions.  It's not just the suburban SUV idiots.  It's anyone with a big vehicle who thinks they are "cool."
 
2013-03-06 10:19:33 AM
I used to see the same thing in LA whenever it rained. Morans in 4x4's would fly along at 80mph and end up hydroplaning into the center divider.
Farking traction.. how does it work?
 
2013-03-06 10:31:47 AM
I owned a couple of BMWs back in the day, and the owner's manual section on traction control had a big bolded statement as the first sentence:  Traction control does not override the constraints posed by the laws of physics.

Always good for a chuckle
 
2013-03-06 10:33:49 AM
Why?
Answer: Women
 
2013-03-06 10:34:00 AM
Because they think that they are driving a big, heavy, expensive SUV with 4WD means that things like traction on icy roads does not apply to them.

People are idiots...more at 11

Anecdotal CSB:

All female SUV drivers here in NoVa only wipe enough snow off their side of the windshield after a heavy snow because "oh, the car is too big for me to wipe off entirely"  Stupid farking hatchet wounds!!!
 
2013-03-06 10:34:48 AM
4 Wheel Drive =/= 4 Wheel Stop

Either you know how to drive in snow, or you make friends with the tow guy.
 
2013-03-06 10:37:15 AM
Nothing scarier than a soccer mom with her first SUV.  Another batch of freezing rain and snow here, which is the norm lately.  Especially on ice, 4WD isn't much help.  But, by God, they spent tons of money on this thing, and clicking into 4WD means total safety, drive like hell, right?  This morning though, it was some doofus in a Lincoln MKZ  (AWD) who felt bulletproof, until she saw the car in the median that had just spun out.  Suddenly, 70mph on packed snow and ice didn't seem like a good idea.
 
2013-03-06 10:39:37 AM
4 wheel drive just means all 4 wheels are turning as you slide into the ditch

/Jeep herder
 
2013-03-06 10:43:05 AM

Three Crooked Squirrels: But around here (SLC), it's anyone with a big vehicle.


When I commuted 30 miles a day on I-35 near Austin, I discovered that the initials "Z71" were basically a self-selecting identification tag for douchebags.
 
2013-03-06 10:43:28 AM
In fact, an SUV faces the same risks as any car when turning or braking. In addition, engaging all four wheels doesn't help on wet or slushy roads, and it uses up more gas.

Perhaps engaging FWD doesn't help on wet or slushy roads in the DC Metro - but it (along with traction control) sure as hell does help in those conditions in states with "real" winter, such as MN where I grew up (9 miles from Canada) or WI where I currently reside.

4WD with slow speeds = win in most negative winter conditions.

Once you accumulate any real speed relative to the conditions you're pretty much screwed.  The scariest driving experience I ever had was one winter day I stopped for gas on a long (4 hour or so) road trip early in the morning.  When I came out of the gas station I noticed it had briefly rained - my windshield was wet.

I got back on the freeway and got up to speed just in time to see three cars spin out of control in front of me.  That's when I realized the rain had frozen the second it hit the freeway, changing it into a skating rink.  It's a REALLY bad feeling to realize you're going 65 or so and have zero traction.

Luckily I grew up with this sort of thing and had no curves in the road - I just eased off the gas and coasted until I was down to about 15 mph and then flipped it into 4WD and drove slow until I was out of it.  I got passed numerous times by people only to see them in the ditch a mile or two down the road.

/CSB and all that
 
2013-03-06 10:43:39 AM
Oh yay, another SUV-bashing board.

/yes, I spend as much on gas per month as I spent on my first car, but my choice.
 
2013-03-06 10:44:12 AM
Drove to NYC from Maine in a snow storm 3 weeks ago.
Drove back from NYC to Maine in a storm 2 weeks ago.

I drive an AWD V6 Highlander. AWD is awesome, but it does not overcome the laws of physics or allow the deduction of points from common sense (wisdom and intelligence -2 modifier). I saw SO MANY people in 4x4s driving way over the speed for such conditions and as I passed their stuck vehicles later on down the road I just hoped no one was hurt.

There is really little need for 4-HI on a true 4x4. Most people SHOULD go without it.
 
2013-03-06 10:44:19 AM
During a recent "snowstorm" here in NC, local news was rife with stories of overturned vehicles. From the footage they showed, each and every vehicle, without fail, was an SUV. The laws of physics still apply to your big-ass grocery-go-getters, people.
 
2013-03-06 10:44:24 AM
SUV drivers think they're unstoppable.

As they often find out, they are.
 
2013-03-06 10:44:55 AM
Know the limitations of your driving ability and your vehicle. You don't drive a truck the same way your drive and Escort, and you adapt your driving to the road conditions. in other words, learn to drive, noobs.
 
2013-03-06 10:45:13 AM

genepool lifeboat: 4 Wheel Drive =/= 4 Wheel Stop

Either you know how to drive in snow, or you make friends with the tow guy.


Particularly funny with the original Audi Quattro. Locking the diff (which they suggest for snow) actually turns off the ABS. It does mention that fact in tiny fine print...
 
2013-03-06 10:45:23 AM

Pocket Ninja: 10 Red Flags That Suggest the Person Driving a 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle Doesn't Actually Know How to Operate One:

1) The 4X4 looks more like a mini-van.


That

2) The 4X4 is spotlessly clean.

Especially that.

3) The 4X4 is regularly parked in the suburbs.

I need a daily driver and something that will get me to the good fishing flats without getting stuck in the sand, and will allow me to drive around muddy East Texas without getting stuck, and will allow me to take mountain "roads" without a problem.  So not really this. (have an XTerra...getting a Rubicon soon).


4) The 4X4 has an automatic lift gate or sliding side door.

That too.

5) The 4X4 has personalized plates that do not appear to reference hunting.

Yep.

6) There are young children in the 4X4.

Can't be helped.  This summer, I'm going to take a 4wd roads with my 3-year old (currently 2 years old).  Banging around in the back.  He can take it....or will learn to take it.

7) There is no dog in the 4X4, or if there is a dog it is a poodle.

Not this.  My father in-law was one of the biggest good ol' boys you would ever meet.  For some reason, he loved this damn toy poodle that went everywhere with him.  It rode in the truck on his shoulders between his back/neck and the seat.  When he took his boat on the lake, it insisted on coming along and curled up under the console.


8) There is a luggage carrier located somewhere on the 4X4, either atop it or on a small platform hooked to the back.

I've used the rack on my XTerra for everything (except luggage) - wood, roofing material, boats, etc.  When I buy my jeep, I'm buying a rack to hold the canoe.  Last summer, I saw a guy in a Wrangler who had a hitch-rack.  In it were two ice chests and a huge, freshly killed elk head that kind of stared at the drivers behind him.  This was in the tunnel on I-70.


9) When operating the 4X4 in normal conditions, the driver goes around speed bumps in parking lots.

This is stupid for anything that isn't a mini-sedan.  I treat speed bumps like they are not even there...unless they are those 4-foot wide things near parks and schools (take those at normal speed and you will kill yourself).


10) The person refers to his or her 4X4, which is not a pickup, as a "truck."

Kind of agree but this doesn't bother me.  The XTerra for instance (at least the year I have) was built on the Frontier frame.  I still don't call it a truck.

But I understand the point.  I see people around here driving jacked up H3s with cages around their differentials and a trailer hitch that looks like it was polished.  I can't remember the last time I actually washed my Xterra - there's scratched all over.  The cargo area looks abused, complete with carpet that was ate away by battery acid.

Oh, and you forgot to add "Doesn't keep a come-a-long and tow strap in the vehicle".
 
2013-03-06 10:45:59 AM
We of SoCal collectively ask, what's snow?
 
2013-03-06 10:46:59 AM
4WD is a characteristic of some vehicles. It is not a magical license to drive any and everywhere without experience and practice in those conditions. Sometimes you just shouldn't be driving.
 
2013-03-06 10:48:15 AM
4x4 and AWD are excellent for moving forward, but I doesn't help you stop at all, so moving forward too quickly can be dangerous.

I saw a guy in an AWD Volvo buzzing past all kinds of traffic in one storm. He was doing great till some one pulled out in front of him. Then he hit the brakes and went into a spin and I almost hit him when he crossed my lane. He ended up ass-end into a deep ditch waiting for a tow.
 
2013-03-06 10:49:00 AM
I always tell my wife and her friends that 4WD just helps to get you going. Everyone has 4 wheel stop. This is followed by a pregnant pause. Then "ooooh!"
 
2013-03-06 10:49:07 AM
Got a little subaru outback, and will never go back to two wheel drive.

The problem people have is F=MA. For christ sake, yes, four wheel drive will help, but it doesn't change the physics people.

First thing I do when it snows, no matter the car I have at the time, is go out to an empty parking lot and practice emergency turning / braking. You have to know the vehicle and it's limits, and each one is different. Slapping some safety features like ABS and AWD on a car doesn't change the fact that it's a GIANT HEAVY SUV.
 
2013-03-06 10:50:55 AM
Four wheel drive DOES NOT mean four wheel STOP.

Get it?
 
2013-03-06 10:50:58 AM

mysticcat: I owned a couple of BMWs back in the day, and the owner's manual section on traction control had a big bolded statement as the first sentence:  Traction control does not override the constraints posed by the laws of physics.

Always good for a chuckle


This is related to one thing my father drilled into my head, and I plan to drill it into my daughter's head when (god forbid) the time comes for her to begin her driving life. The laws of physics are cold biatches. They aren't TRYING to kill you, but they don't care if you live or die whatsoever. They will not bend for you, or anyone. VERY important for every driver to understand this, when it comes to winter or any other sort of driving at all.
 
2013-03-06 10:52:51 AM
Lived ten years in New Jersey / New York, seen a lot of wrecked SUV's / trucks.

Dear idiots; having a heavy four wheel drive vehicle just makes it easy for you to accelerate, it does NOT help you stop.  And f'ing STOPPING is the problem in ice conditions.
 
2013-03-06 10:53:20 AM

SurfaceTension: vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.

The problem with DC drivers (and I'm one of them) is that everyone is from somewhere else. Very few natives here. So you get a road full of people from all over the world, some places that don't even have traffic laws so much as suggestions, all bringing their own sensibilities to how THEY think everyone should or will drive. It does make driving more difficult when you can't predict what the drivers in front of you will do, or when you do one thing and another driver was thinking you'd do something else.

For me it's the left turn lanes that have the arrow, but when the arrow goes off there's a solid green and you can turn left provided no traffic is coming the other way. In the midwest where I'm from, cars pull out into the intersection, so that you can get up to three cars waiting to turn left. Then when the light turns red, those cars can clear the intersection. In northern Virginia, people sit at the stop line and don't go out into the intersection. It kills me every time that we have to sit through an entire cycle just because a person doesn't know how or desires not to do that.


For a turn with no arrow, that might be necessary to achieve a left turn, but if an arrow is coming anyway, it's best not to be inside the intersection when cross-traffic starts moving through it; if the road has an arrow, the cross-traffic timing was designed with that in mind, and doesn't have as lengthly a 'clear period' between lights. I've seen (and in DC mind you) 5-7 cars in a state of half-left turn nearly get T-boned by the first person through the intersection on a green, who is used to the 'green means go' motif.

Also, I've seen this lead to gridlock as there isn't enough space for the left-turns to turn into, as the cross road is synchronized to the cross-traffic lights and not fore-traffic lights, so oncoming traffic is completely blockaded by half-left turns even though oncoming traffic has a green light, wasting the entire green light for them.
 
2013-03-06 10:53:44 AM

Sharksfan: In fact, an SUV faces the same risks as any car when turning or braking. In addition, engaging all four wheels doesn't help on wet or slushy roads, and it uses up more gas.

Perhaps engaging FWD doesn't help on wet or slushy roads in the DC Metro - but it (along with traction control) sure as hell does help in those conditions in states with "real" winter, such as MN where I grew up (9 miles from Canada) or WI where I currently reside.

4WD with slow speeds = win in most negative winter conditions.

Once you accumulate any real speed relative to the conditions you're pretty much screwed.  The scariest driving experience I ever had was one winter day I stopped for gas on a long (4 hour or so) road trip early in the morning.  When I came out of the gas station I noticed it had briefly rained - my windshield was wet.

I got back on the freeway and got up to speed just in time to see three cars spin out of control in front of me.  That's when I realized the rain had frozen the second it hit the freeway, changing it into a skating rink.  It's a REALLY bad feeling to realize you're going 65 or so and have zero traction.

Luckily I grew up with this sort of thing and had no curves in the road - I just eased off the gas and coasted until I was down to about 15 mph and then flipped it into 4WD and drove slow until I was out of it.  I got passed numerous times by people only to see them in the ditch a mile or two down the road.

/CSB and all that


Had that EXACT thing happen to me about 3 weeks ago going from Cincy to Columbus.

Only I'm in an RX-8 with shiat tires and RWD only.

Cars spinning out to the left and right, SUV's upside down in the median... I will admit that I got sideways once or twice, but I didn't have too much trouble reaching my destination.

/Learned how to drive in snow in a 'cuda
 
2013-03-06 10:53:56 AM
It's partly that very few people are taught how to drive in snow and how to recover from a skid.  They go too fast, lose traction, panic, ram on the brakes and end up off the road since 4wd does fark all for stopping.

I remember a few snows back I was driving into my neighborhood and started to skid on the turn- lay off the brakes, steer into it, touch of gas, fine.  It's not hard to master- except for soccer mom in the SUV right behind me, who jammed on the brakes and ended up in the ditch.

Parents- take your kids out to a snowy parking lot the first time you get a chance.  Skid recovery is fun to learn, and it's a critical driving skill.
 
2013-03-06 10:54:18 AM

Myria: We of SoCal collectively ask, what's snow?


I live in San Diego but go up to Tahoe at least once a year. When it is snowing you can tell who the flatlanders* are by the way they drive. Always amusing.

*I grew up in the North Country of New York State, so I am technically allowed to still call others "flatlanders".
 
2013-03-06 10:54:31 AM

theorellior: Three Crooked Squirrels: But around here (SLC), it's anyone with a big vehicle.

When I commuted 30 miles a day on I-35 near Austin, I discovered that the initials "Z71" were basically a self-selecting identification tag for douchebags.


These days it's anyone in an Escalade.
 
2013-03-06 10:54:53 AM
Because every farker with 4 wheel drive thinks it makes them invincible in ANY weather condition.  I had some dumb fark in an SUV go barreling by me in horrendously thick fog.  I was unaware 4 wheel drive granted you x-ray vision.
 
2013-03-06 10:58:06 AM
Because Mr Mid-Life Smallpenis bought that huge farking truck/ SUV and thinks he's farking invincible, so he really can go 50 in 3 inches of snow.

Nevermind having to worry about rear ending the shiat out of the guy who is going 25 up ahead....
 
2013-03-06 10:58:19 AM
Gear in L or 2, Traction engaged on my truck gets me almost anywhere I am willing to try.  Then again, sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
 
2013-03-06 11:01:15 AM
Anderson says too many SUV drivers go too fast in poor driving conditions, and that no car is safe on icy roads.

If they wanted to drive safely then they wouldn't have gotten an SUV, dumbass. There's a reason these things are marketed to women.
 
GBB
2013-03-06 11:03:37 AM
Sharksfan: The scariest driving experience I ever had ...I noticed it had briefly rained - my windshield was wet.

This pretty much sums up the reactions of 90% of Floridians.
 
2013-03-06 11:03:38 AM

mysticcat: Answer: tires


Oh, I'm sorry but thanks for playing. The answer we were looking for is: idiots.
I live outside of Seattle. When it snows I stay home for two main reasons:
1) We have big, steep hills that are not cleared or salted. You may think that driving in winter is easy. I grew up in Toronto and drove my whole live in winter, never even bothered with snow tires. But let me assure you that there is a massive difference between driving in a city that is aggressively plowed and salted and driving in a city where basically nothing is done to deal with snow and ice.
2) People. No matter how good a driver you are, it won't save you from being hit by an idiot or tied up in traffic for two hours a mile from your house because the roads are full of idiots.
 
2013-03-06 11:03:59 AM
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1) The 4X4 looks more like a mini-van.
2) The 4X4 is spotlessly clean.
3) The 4X4 is regularly parked in the suburbs.
4) The 4X4 has an automatic lift gate or sliding side door.
5) The 4X4 has personalized plates that do not appear to reference hunting.
6) There are young children in the 4X4.
7) There is no dog in the 4X4, or if there is a dog it is a poodle.
8) There is a luggage carrier located somewhere on the 4X4, either atop it or on a small platform hooked to the back.
9) When operating the 4X4 in normal conditions, the driver goes around speed bumps in parking lots.
10) The person refers to his or her 4X4, which is not a pickup, as a "truck."



Right on almost all accounts. Sometimes the 4x4 (aka F150) is used as babby-carrier due to lack of other vehicle ownage by one driving it...

//Points to self :-)
///has both dogs, baby and hunts. Lives in the country, actually has livestock too.
 
2013-03-06 11:05:27 AM

SurfaceTension: vernonFL: People get overconfident

People in the DC metro area can't drive for shiate. No, really, people here can't drive, especially in snow.

The problem with DC drivers (and I'm one of them) is that everyone is from somewhere else. Very few natives here. So you get a road full of people from all over the world, some places that don't even have traffic laws so much as suggestions, all bringing their own sensibilities to how THEY think everyone should or will drive. It does make driving more difficult when you can't predict what the drivers in front of you will do, or when you do one thing and another driver was thinking you'd do something else.

For me it's the left turn lanes that have the arrow, but when the arrow goes off there's a solid green and you can turn left provided no traffic is coming the other way. In the midwest where I'm from, cars pull out into the intersection, so that you can get up to three cars waiting to turn left. Then when the light turns red, those cars can clear the intersection. In northern Virginia, people sit at the stop line and don't go out into the intersection. It kills me every time that we have to sit through an entire cycle just because a person doesn't know how or desires not to do that.


I wail on my farking horn when people do not pull out/play with their phones and impeed the flow of those behind them.  Not pulling out infuriates me to no end.
 
2013-03-06 11:05:40 AM

It's a Trap!: Because every farker with 4 wheel drive thinks it makes them invincible in ANY weather condition.  I had some dumb fark in an SUV go barreling by me in horrendously thick fog.  I was unaware 4 wheel drive granted you x-ray vision.



They also think they can take any terrain.  Personally, if I see questionable terrain, I park and walk or turn around.

If you don't know that you yield to other 4wd vehicles traveling up (when you are traveling down) and you haven't practiced picking lines, then don't take that road regardless of your vehicle's "power" or rated ability.

Example, and it's fairly obvious, but if you can't see the line in something like this:

s14.postimage.org

Then go no further.
 
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