Keep an eye on the sky, folks, because snow could start falling at any moment!
In my part of the world, the white stuff will likely make its first appearance of the season within the next couple of days. While that’s great news for snowmen and skiers, it can seriously suck for the ill-prepared driver. Owning a vehicle with all-wheel drive certainly helps matters, but unfortunately AWD doesn’t cure ignorance or stupidity.
The first snowfall of the year always does at least two things:
- Brings traffic to a grinding halt
- Puts 4X4 Jeep Grand Cherokees and AWD Subaru Foresters into roadside ditches
It’s possible that ditch-bound drivers are new to AWD and simply place too much confidence in its ability to handle slippery conditions. I can see how someone might move from Arizona to Massachusetts and assume picking up a used Forester will cure his or her winter driving problem. Obviously, that’s not how it works.
Yes, AWD systems help a car get going in the ice and snow, but experienced snow drivers sure as heck know it doesn’t help a car stop. If the threat of arctic-worthy snowstorms has you scouring the used car listings in search of an affordable snow rig, keep in mind that picking up an AWD vehicle doesn’t make you invincible in the snow. Drive as carefully as you would in a FWD car, and you’ll be fine. Start getting in a hurry, and before you know it, you’ll be calling a tow truck from the ditch as I drive by and laugh.
If you are looking to buy, check out my list of The 10 Best Vehicles for Snow and Ice, then look ’em up on DealFinder. You’re bound to find good deals in your area. If you have an AWD vehicle to sell, this is the time of year to get the most money for it! Try pricing it and listing it for sale using the CarGurus PriceCalculator. It’s free!
Do you have any experience driving in snow? Which drivetrain do you prefer: AWD, FWD, or RWD?