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How Does Your Vehicle Handle In Snow?

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It doesn’t take much snow or ice to throw a major wrench into your commute. It helps to know how your car or truck handles in messy weather before you hit the road.

AAA’s Rick Remington says different kinds of vehicles handle differently in snow and ice.

“Front wheel drive provides better traction because there’s more weight over the drive wheels and it’s pulling the vehicle through snow instead of pushing, which is what rear wheel drive does.”

As for four-wheel drive, it’s great for traction in snow, but drivers should still exercise caution.

“It doesn’t provide any advantage in terms of braking,” Remington says. “It’s important to provide just as much stopping distance as a conventional vehicle.”

In snow and ice, that’s double what it is in dry conditions.

What do you drive and how does it handle in the snow? Please let us know in the comment section below.

Reported by Molly Daly, KYW Newsradio

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  • Frances

    I have a 2008 Lexus RX350 which is amazing on snow. I had to drive to upstate New York and was driving in a blizzard. I didn’t have one problem and passed so many cars and trucks stuck in the snow. I had to make a lot of turns when I arrived at my destination and not once did I have trouble. Of course, I made sure that I didn’t drive too fast. I just love my Lexus!

  • W.P.B.

    I have noticd the 4 wheel drive people drive like idiots in the snow. Many with AWD do the smae. Just the other day an idiot was passing everybody going north on 95 at about 60. Of course his AWD Volvo i such a safe car. Yep safe until you put an idiot behind the wheel.. About a mile further up there he was against the guardrail. Good ! Keep the speed down and leave more distance to stop and most cars are fine.

  • steve

    The people with 4wd are the worst ones when it snows. They usually don’t know how to drive in the snow because they think since they have 4wd they can drive like the roads are clear. Most of the people I see sliding are people with 4wd.

  • Steven Friedrich

    I drive a smart fortwo in all sorts of weather, including every snow fall for the past 2 winters as I must get to work daily. I’ve never had a problem on snow and only occasionally have minor slipping on ice. I agree with the others – snow or all-weather tires with good tread depth is essential. A manual transmission also gives better control when starting AND when stopping.

  • Doris

    I have a Ford Edge with AWD. It’s just so-so in the snow. Wouldn’t waste my money on AWD again!! Had a 4WD Explorer before the Edge. You couldn’t get that thing stuck. Sure do miss my Explorer!!

  • MIKE


    • Diana Buchanan

      I drive a rear wheel drive Mustang and live in Roxborough. I’ve been taking the bus to work for that past 2 to 3 weeks because my car is terrible in this weather. I can’t wait for Spring to come.

  • Uncle Mike

    For 20 years, I drove a 1986 Oldsmobile 98 and a 1998 Cadillac Deville, both had front wheel drive and I went through anything and felt comfortable behind the wheel. I bought a ’06 Hemi Chrysler 300 with only RWD and do not like to drive it even when it’s just rainy. The car just slips and slides and fish tails all over the place. The GM cars handled better.

  • Snowman

    I have been driving for 32 years in all kinds of cars and conditions. Your best bet no matter what your drive (fwd, rwd, 4wd) are winter tires (i.e. Bridgestone Blizzads).Winter tires are excellent on ice and snow. If these are too expensive, the the next best type of tire would be snow tires (i.e. Firestone Winterforce). Snows don’t have the gripping power that the winter tires have, but around here the roads are usually salted with little or no ice. It mostly depends where you live. Winter and snow tires should be mounted in sets of 4. Whatever tire you pick, you should have plenty of tire depth and you should always use caution. My rule is to go slow and give yourself plenty of stopping distance.

    • Snowman

      I forgot to mention I drive a fwd Sable with snow tires in all 4 corners. Handles well in ice/snow (up to 4 inches). I haven’t driven in anything deeper.

  • Ben

    2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Drives fine in the snow. It definitely has a lot to do with the tires. This vehicle seemed to handle last years storms better, and Im thinking the tread was a little better then.

  • Vince

    I have a 2007 Land Rover Range Rover Sport. The Terrain Responsiive System is amazing and really a necessity, it has a SNOW setting that reduces the torque output. It really comes in handy, especially with this being the SUPERCHARGED model with 400+ HP. Being a full time four wheel drive is a great advantage too. I will say that one complaint I had heard was winter tractrion. But I resolved that with replacing the terrible stock Continental Tires with Yokohoma all season radials. And they were cheaper too!!!

  • Scot Dence

    I have a 2007 VW Jetta with GoodYear Assurance tires. The thing is unstoppable in the snow. It actually makes it fun to drive in the snow.

  • A Sherlock

    I am convinced I have the best vehicle for the snow. Ml 430, it is a 2000 v8 suv with 4wd all the time. The car is extremely heavy, and has great torque. I have driven many jeeps in the snow and this car takes the cake.

  • Bob

    Two words — SNOW TIRES. A rear-wheel vehicle with proper snow tires will out perform an all-wheel for 4-wheel drive in snowy icy conditions. Contrary to popular belief, all-season tires are not tested in snow and ice.

  • Tom

    What he should have said is; “no matter what you drive its all about your tires. Make sure there is at least 6/32 tread depth and you have at least an allseason style

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