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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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17450 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 11:07:38 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."


is a lady
ftfy
 
2013-03-06 11:10:58 AM

UberDave: ..
Oh, and you forgot to add "Doesn't keep a come-a-long and tow strap in the vehicle".


Yup. I hit the sand on Padre Island last December and to my amazement, saw a guy in a 4 dr. coupe driving in the sugar sand right up near the dunes. ZERO clearance underneath it.
There was NO one on the beach but us.
I sighed, waited until he buried it to the frame, then went over and towed him out with my Jeep.
 
2013-03-06 11:11:33 AM
Has anyone mentioned yet that having Four Wheel Drive doesn't help you stop better, and that the laws of physics still apply?
 
2013-03-06 11:12:08 AM
Three Crooked Squirrels:   It's not just the suburban SUV idiots.  It's anyone with a big vehicle who thinks they are "cool."

That's pretty much the root of it.  They think anyone driving a prudent speed is a pussy and now is the chance to wave their dick around and show what a badass they are by weaving through lanes, gunning it off the line and generally demonstrating to everyone on the road that they aren't afraid.
 
2013-03-06 11:13:37 AM

Sim Tree: 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 tr ...


Not to take this thread off road, but I have a rant about people turning left.  Have they stopped teaching new drivers NOT to turn your wheels to the left until you start to actually make the turn???  I've lost track of the times that I've seen some nimrod get into the left-turn lane, crank their wheels, and get rear-ended, propelling the car into oncoming traffic.  Don't turn the wheels and you get a dent; turn the wheels and get a head-on.
 
2013-03-06 11:13:50 AM

UberDave: 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 image 604x453]

Then go no further.


Just hold the wheel straight and mash on the gas, right?
 
2013-03-06 11:14:34 AM

Flint Ironstag: 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...


I'm not sure but I think the differential was unlocking itself above a certain speed.  My understanding is that locking the differential was mostly used to get out of your parking space when there's 4 feet of snow over your car.
 
2013-03-06 11:14:55 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.

Yeah, um what the FARK does this have to do with SUVs getting in accidents? Topic. Stay on it...

"But when it gets very slippery, you begin to have problems with traction."

Not if you know what you're doing. Which means slowing down, increasing stopping times, AND NOT CUTTING PEOPLE THE FARK OFF.... Seriously, the last storm we had, I was driving on sheets of ice, doing just fine, and I had 2 different cars just pull out in front of me, close enough that would have been a problem on a dry road, and turned out to be about 2 inches shy of an accident on the icy roads.

Farking assholes.

Here we go: 4WD DOES increase traction. It increases it even on "very slippery" roads. Your 4WD can even help when turning, despite what this numbnuts says, since you have power to the turning wheels, as well as traction helping to push you through the turn. It won't help with braking, but it can help when using your engine/transmission to slow you down. You have all kinds of benefits that this moron can't figure out, but he DID get one thing right: overconfidence. That's the biggest culprit. People who think their 4WD makes that sheet of ice called a road suddenly equal the same road if it were empty and dry.

The weirdest thing about that last storm? I kept having people doing scary, dumb shiat and driving like morons. My buddy who drives on the other side of town had damp roads, but no snow and ice(Salt Lake is weird when it comes to weather), and THOSe people were driving like it was a farking blizzard. So yeah, snowy/icy part of town? Farking NASCAR. Dry, clear side of town? The Great Ice Storm of 2013 or something.

When I get the Jeep I want with the nice big tube bumpers, I'm just not going to be able to stop "in time" one of these mornings and hit one of these cock-knockers who pulls out in front of me. I'll be able to drive away, and he/she will be stuck with their own repair bill...
 
2013-03-06 11:15:40 AM

Sim Tree: 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.


Yeah I think the practice made sense when most intersections were little two-lane affairs. It's clearly too dangerous at these 3-lanes-each-way with speeds like 45 mph that you get in the suburbs these days.

The time savings is usually less than a minute (try timing a full cycle sometime) for maybe one or two people so it just isn't worth it.
 
2013-03-06 11:15:50 AM

Endive Wombat: 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.


You should try driving in Seattle. You'd have a coronary. People here are the most passive drivers I have ever seen. Turning left without a green arrow is rocket science, apparently.
 
2013-03-06 11:19:00 AM

Pontious Pilates: 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.


I don't think anyone in the Raleigh area with an SUV knows how to drive in snow/ice. They all think "4WD means I can ignore weather conditions!" and off they go, usually into the ditch or the guardrail or someone else's car. My Saturn has front wheel drive and I've never had trouble driving in snow/ice, even after we had an 8" sleet storm. Just drive slowly, anticipate speed changes and what the traffic is doing around you, and don't slam on the brakes.

/yes, it was 8" of sleet
//next day it froze into 8" of ice on the roads
 
2013-03-06 11:19:00 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."


That's a BINGO.
 
2013-03-06 11:19:26 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."


11) There is a stupid-ass stick-figure family on the back window.
 
2013-03-06 11:20:36 AM
I thought I'd just chime in on what was one of the best days of my life. So I was driving in a really bad snowstorm and the roads were horrible, so I decided to drive slower in the interest of not getting into an accident. Well, some idiot just wasn't having that and decided that I was driving too slow and decided to ride my bumper; it looked like they were going to attempt to pass me when they spun out of control and ended up stuck in the ditch.
 
2013-03-06 11:21:29 AM

UberDave: 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 image 604x453]

Then go no further.


image.4wheeloffroad.com
I do so miss my Wrangler
 
2013-03-06 11:23:07 AM
AWD Forester, studded snows, and I bought it because the color specifically matched the color of the dirt on my road.
 
2013-03-06 11:23:39 AM

Gough: Not to take this thread off road, but I have a rant about people turning left.  Have they stopped teaching new drivers NOT to turn your wheels to the left until you start to actually make the turn???  I've lost track of the times that I've seen some nimrod get into the left-turn lane, crank their wheels, and get rear-ended, propelling the car into oncoming traffic.  Don't turn the wheels and you get a dent; turn the wheels and get a head-on.


Oh. I never thought of that - that must be why it's a rule. (It was on the MN Driver's test as of, like 2005 and is a state law. I don't remember it being covered in Michigan either in Driver's Ed or on the written test, but the '90s were a crazy time.)
 
2013-03-06 11:27:59 AM
They also fail to realize that 4wd in these new crossovers or SUV's really means 2wd, with the driven wheels being the ones with the least traction. Unless you have a limited slip or locked axle, you are generally in this category.
 
2013-03-06 11:28:27 AM
Contributing factor: 4WD = overconfidence, and overconfidence driving a vehicle that already has less desirable handling characteristics due to the weight, suspension and center of gravity = ditch.  Also tires.  Also, pickup trucks that have no weight over the rear tires and oversteer all over the place.

See it a lot in New England.  The design aspects of your SUV that give you ground clearance hurt your handling, and that fact doesn't disappear with snow on the ground.  That's why my WRX with snow tires is going to out turn, brake and accelerate your Suburban with light off road or all season tires, unless we're driving through consistent, 8" deep snow.  And that doesn't happen on the roads very often.
 
2013-03-06 11:29:41 AM

UberDave: 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 image 604x453]

Then go no further.


It looks an awful lot like a pretty mundane little hill you have there.  I've seen minivans and Civics drive hills like that.  Maybe I'm losing some sense of scale there, but it really doesn't look like it.

Yay living in Colorado with a Rubicon!
 
2013-03-06 11:30:43 AM

GAT_00: Because dumbasses think they're immune and capable of driving through anything just because they're in something big.


Like the Kansas City football player who died after crashing his SUV into a stopped semi on the freeway.

He was driving 65 in in a bad snow storm all because he had 4WD
 
2013-03-06 11:32:41 AM
for the past 15 years i have driven a lot of rental cars--some 4x4, some not.  grew up in the midwest.

you need to know how to drive in the snow, the ice, the slush--sometimes more difficult than the snow and/or ice.

the 4x4 is a great help, but if you don't know how to drive in the stuff, all the 4x4 does is puts you into trouble deeper than what you might do if you didnt have it.

having overconfidence in your attitude and no knowledge of how to drive in bad weather and bad conditions makes it worse.

imho
 
2013-03-06 11:33:48 AM
Well, anyone that owns an SUV is- by definition - a moron or a prick.

They're an essentially useless vehicle, and they screw up traffic for everybody else because they are so big.

/here come the "But firefighters need them!" and "I live on a hill so I need an SUV!" people.
 
2013-03-06 11:34:31 AM
If you happen to go off the road here in the south and a guy with a four wheeler shows up, just get out of the way! Those guys live for this kind of thing. Just pray they have a winch on the front, they do less damage.
 
2013-03-06 11:35:34 AM

Endive Wombat: 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!!!

keep classy, loser

 
2013-03-06 11:40:46 AM

mysticcat: Answer: tires


Whoa! Not so fast there, Bucky. You can have the best all-terrain tires money can buy put on your vehicle, but they're still not going to be worth the warranty they're printed on when it comes to solid ice. We live less a 1/4 mile north of I-40 and every year it's the same thing. It snows, the snow starts to melt and then freezes again overnight, and still, despite warnings from the DOT, some idiot thinks that just because he's in a big heavy Dodge Ram or Chevy Silverado with "snow tires" he can beat the laws of physics. Ya' ain't goin' nowhere, son, if your tires don't have any traction.
 
2013-03-06 11:42:31 AM
1. First Lesson in snow country - it's not the car, it's the driver
2. "What's wrong with my SUV?" - answer - "The loose nut behind the steering wheel"
3. Lessons from driving in Washington DC snow days -- all federal employees are batshiat crazy and need to be instutionalized for our safety
4. Everyone in Washington area lives off the Federal teet

Lesson -

Do not go near Washington DC until God fumigates it
 
2013-03-06 11:43:42 AM

Maud Dib: UberDave: ..
Oh, and you forgot to add "Doesn't keep a come-a-long and tow strap in the vehicle".

Yup. I hit the sand on Padre Island last December and to my amazement, saw a guy in a 4 dr. coupe driving in the sugar sand right up near the dunes. ZERO clearance underneath it.
There was NO one on the beach but us.
I sighed, waited until he buried it to the frame, then went over and towed him out with my Jeep.



A few years ago, I'm out at San Luis pass and there was this kid (20-21 years old) who drove around in an old 4x4 Toyota with a lift and lockers and all that.  He had a 12" fire hose attached to his tow hitch that was about 15+ feet long and ended in about 4-5 feet of tow chain.  I was driving off the flat from a successful evening of flounder gigging (about 1am-ish) and there's this "genius" in a Silverado who took a tight turn around one of the bridge pilings and buried his back end up to the top of the fender.  He had his wife and what looked like a 3-year old in the cab and the back was loaded down with night-fishing equipment.  He was begging me to try and pull his truck out with god-damn extension cords from his generator/light setup.  I finally convinced him that he would be out some extension cords if I tried that and was getting ready to drive them to the tool booth.  About that time, the kid shows up and starts hooking his truck up without a word.  It took about 20 seconds for him to yank the truck out of the sand.  Guy gave the kid $60...he made a fortune that night.  Talk about a smart and enterprising kid....I was impressed.

I've gotten stuck out there when the sands have shifted but I know how to recognize I'm bogging down and stop.  5-10 minutes of digging a tire with the damn shovel I don't forget to bring is all it takes.

/CSB
 
2013-03-06 11:44:56 AM
They think the car is magic - like they've bought this gigantic talisman against weather. My +5 SUV of driving is no match for your weather! Except physics always wins.
 
2013-03-06 11:45:04 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.


And in this area, snow is when all the can't-drive-for-shiat people get on the roads the most!!!
 
2013-03-06 11:45:31 AM
I grew up in Upstate NY, not the snow capital of the country but it definitely had some pretty crazy winters. I learned to drive up there, mostly with front-wheel drive which works fairly well.

I learned very early on that just because you weren't driving rear-wheel drive, you weren't invincible. Front and four wheel drive are great for getting you out of your parking spot when you are plowed in or for slower city driving, but on the highway you definitely shouldn't be going fast. There is no reason to push the speed, the risks aren't worth it.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you can be cited for driving fast in adverse weather conditions even if you are still going under the limit.
 
2013-03-06 11:45:41 AM

Endive Wombat: 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.


as we few have mentioned reasons for this upthread (left turn has no where to turn since the receiving road is backed up itself and the size of the intersection)  but do red-light cameras have any impact on this?  light turns red and you are beyond the line and in the intersection, wouldn't that qualify for a red-light ticket?
 
2013-03-06 11:46:53 AM
i403.photobucket.com">

There you go SUV drivers. Figure it out.
 
2013-03-06 11:47:10 AM

genepool lifeboat: UberDave: 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 image 604x453]

Then go no further.

[image.4wheeloffroad.com image 193x145]
I do so miss my Wrangler


I miss my unimog.

classicunimogs.com
 
2013-03-06 11:47:20 AM
DNRTFA...

I'm just going to go out on a limb and speak from my experience watching people and how they drive.  People with any sort of 4WD vehicle seem to be under the impression that the additional drive power and traction makes them immune to the forces of nature.  "Turn on the 4WD, and nothing will allow me to slip."
Then they get all cocky and go out driving with supreme confidence, right up until they discover how wrong they were, and cause a 7-car pileup.  Most of which is made up of the same sorts of vehicles.

I've never had anything more than a front wheel drive, subcompact for my commuter car, and I drive through all sorts of weather.  Perhaps the trick is to just be careful.
 
2013-03-06 11:48:27 AM
One word: Blizzaks
(or another manufacturers equivalent)
Yes you have to buy an extra set of tires.
Excellent traction on ice, snow.
And still drive with common sense. You WILL get where you're going.
Used Blizzaks since they came out (in a state that gets a lot of snow and ice)
 
2013-03-06 11:49:27 AM
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.

Coming from a physics teacher that drills this into every kid every chance I get it is also the laws of physics that save you when you do it right.
 
2013-03-06 11:51:25 AM

Jument: 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.


Very true.  I grew up in Tennessee, land of 2-inch snowstorms that paralyze cities.  I went to college in New Hampshire and drove a RWD 1987 RX-7 turbo all over snowy rods without a hitch.  I had these crazy low-profile snow tires on the back that worked great.  Plus the roads were always plowed.  Can't underestimate that.
 
2013-03-06 11:59:08 AM

Explodo: It looks an awful lot like a pretty mundane little hill you have there.  I've seen minivans and Civics drive hills like that.  Maybe I'm losing some sense of scale there, but it really doesn't look like it.

Yay living in Colorado with a Rubicon!



That's the road to Lake Como.  Where you live, you are less than 4 hours away.  Go down 25, take 160 and go over the pass after Walsenburg.  Go like you are going to the Sand Dunes.  At the turn off of 160 to the Sand Ddunes, just go a couple of miles and you will see the BLM entrance below the Blanca Massif.  That's the road.

You should make it past that obstacle in your Rubicon.  When you do, you will realize there is no way in hell that a minivan could make it and will be lucky if you keep all your wheels in contact.  But you should make it no problem.  That obstacle is usually called Jaws .5 in reference to the real obstacles further up called Jaws 1, 2, and 3.

There's some jeeps in this video.  And for reference, the video doesn't make this road look anywhere near as bad and/or harrowing as it is (I've hiked the thing).  The guy in the FJ, when attempting Jaws 2 is crazy.  I think someone says something about him having no fear at Jaws 2.  They're correct.  That move he makes is pants-shiating if you know what that obstacle looks like in real life (doesn't look bad in the video).
 
2013-03-06 12:03:23 PM
SUV's are worse than cars in snow in many regards. Every car out there has four wheel brakes, but most cars also have a lower center of gravity and more responsive steering. I have a 4 wheel drive, but I feel safer in my car when it is slick. I'm more likely to get stuck trying to get up a hill, but less likely to get stuck in a ditch or in a collision with someone else.

What I've found to be the absolute trump card is full on snow tires. The soft compound stays flexible in low temps to work a bit on ice and the tread lets it bite. They are actively worse on dry pavement, but two wheel drive with true snow tires beats 4 wheel drive with all seasons on the slushy ice mess I see in NY.
 
2013-03-06 12:04:08 PM

realmolo: Well, anyone that owns an SUV is- by definition - a moron or a prick.

They're an essentially useless vehicle, and they screw up traffic for everybody else because they are so big.

/here come the "But firefighters need them!" and "I live on a hill so I need an SUV!" people


Oh, you don't have kids I see.

Useless for who?  I have a 6 year old and 20-month old twins.  When we go on road trips anywhere which involves a hotel stay here is what I end up bringing.  It FILLS the back of my GMC Yukon XL.  Kids take up the full 2nd row - and in the back...

Three suitcases
Two toddler cribs, portable Baby Bjorn
Large stroller for twins (small ones are crappy and useless with two kids in them - they get stuck in everything)
Diapers, wipes, snacks, food
Diaper bag
Coats, gloves, hats, boots, etc
Laptop, kids toys, the 85 other random things you need when bringing kids anywhere
 
2013-03-06 12:06:51 PM
THIS is a snow vehicle:

carphotos.cardomain.com

Low center of gravity, good tires, good clearance, good weight balance. Limited slip center differential so you don't swing the back end around on every corner.

This is overcompensation for something:
static.cargurus.com
 
2013-03-06 12:07:45 PM
Bad: people who don't know how to drive in snow and ice and plow into you because they don't know how to brake.

Worse: people who are so petrified that it's snowing that they drive with their flashers on at 5 mph and block traffic just long enough for the roads to freeze solid, so that everyone is stuck.
 
2013-03-06 12:07:47 PM

UberDave:



I drive PINS a lot. This sign should really say, "Abandon all hope, all ye who enter without 4WD."
One day, many years ago, some guy hit the sand and drove the full 60 miles to the Mansfield Cut in a got-damn 4 door Lincoln Continental. He finally got stuck while realizing he couldn't swim across the cut. Took 3 big ol' 4WD trucks in tandem to pull him out.

i865.photobucket.com
 
2013-03-06 12:07:49 PM

Maud Dib: UberDave: ..
Oh, and you forgot to add "Doesn't keep a come-a-long and tow strap in the vehicle".

Yup. I hit the sand on Padre Island last December and to my amazement, saw a guy in a 4 dr. coupe driving in the sugar sand right up near the dunes. ZERO clearance underneath it.
There was NO one on the beach but us.
I sighed, waited until he buried it to the frame, then went over and towed him out with my Jeep.


I learned to drive at age ten on the beach in Northern Ireland. Dry sand=bad. Very wet sand=bad. Slightly damp sand in the middle=good.
Of course on this beach the distance between the dry sand and the wet sand could be a hundred yards wide.
 
2013-03-06 12:07:50 PM

Sim Tree: 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.


Not to mention that crossing into the crosswalk/intersection on a green (non-arrow) light (until you are actually clear to turn left) is illegal in some states.
 
2013-03-06 12:10:51 PM
Sharksfan:

I have 5 kids. A minivan served me just fine while they were growing up. No need for an SUV.
 
2013-03-06 12:11:47 PM

JackieRabbit: Bad: people who don't know how to drive in snow and ice and plow into you because they don't know how to brake.

Worse: people who are so petrified that it's snowing that they drive with their flashers on at 5 mph and block traffic just long enough for the roads to freeze solid, so that everyone is stuck.


My Dad always told me that driving too slow is just as dangerous as driving too fast.
 
2013-03-06 12:12:17 PM
4x4 won't stop you from sliding off the road, but it will allow you to get back on the road afterward without the assistance of a tow truck. If you know how to use it, that is.

Of course, if you are a good driver, you won't be out on the road in those conditions, anyway.
 
2013-03-06 12:12:24 PM

cervier: Flint Ironstag: 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...

I'm not sure but I think the differential was unlocking itself above a certain speed.  My understanding is that locking the differential was mostly used to get out of your parking space when there's 4 feet of snow over your car.


This is the original 1980s Quattro, the Gene Hunt Life On Mars version. It was just a basic diff lock on/off button. The handbook suggested locking the diff to drive on snow.
 
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