Tag Archives: 4×4

Driving in the snow – It’s not just for 4x4s and AWD

Driving in the snow, it’s that time of the year again. A time when large amounts of snow fall from the sky bring visions of impending doom and end of the world scenarios. These situations are so cataclysmic, only toilet paper, milk, and bread can save your life. Yes, its winter and life may call upon you to drive during its duration. Or, you can just sit it out at home, which is fine as well.

BMW i8 winter driving
BMW i8

If you do venture out, all is not lost. Mankind has found within itself the ability to evolve. Over time we have adapted to, and overcome, many dire events and situations. This shall be no different. So read along and perhaps you too can survive the winter driving months. Before you know it, it will be time to complain about how it’s too hot.

Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit
Ferrari 458 Spider pausing for a photo-op GTspirit

Firstly, let’s all try to realize that when it starts to snow, slowing down can be a very good thing. You don’t have to stop, mind you, or creep along at a speed that would make a Hoveround suddenly a competitive sports car. Just drive with some caution and anticipation of what driving inputs might be required of you. No point in standing on the go fast peddle, or the brakes, when road conditions are slick. As with most things in life, use moderation.

Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine driving in the snow - by Motoroids
Maserati Ghibli Q4 getting along just fine – by Motoroids

Gently make requests of the accelerator and gas to increase or decrease speed. You’ll get there and very likely without hitting another car, curb, trash can, small rodent, or even a building. When possible, and if it’s safe to do so, use the old rolling stop to avoid situations where it might be difficult to get underway again. This is very true of hills. Stopping on a hill makes it very difficult to get rolling again when the roads are snow covered. Oh yes, and for the love of all that is holy, allow some space between you and others. Don’t run up and sniff the tailpipe of the driver in front of you. It will likely end badly. Try to stay about 8 seconds behind the vehicle you are following. Doing so will allow you time to adjust as needed.

Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS - by flatsixes driving in the snow
Vintage Porsche 911 Carrera RS – by flatsixes

Getting the proper shoes for your vehicle can also make all the difference in the world! Quite a few all-season tires just don’t cut it. You need to be mindful of the average conditions where you live and buy accordingly. A good snow tire is always best. If you’re going to throw caution to the wind and just hope for the best, do the rest of us a favor and at least make sure you have SOME tread on your car. Nothing less than 6/32 of an inch should be on your vehicle. All too often people wait until that first real snowfall to make changes in their tires. At that point, it could be too late and you might make others suffers the consequences of your life choices.

Lamborghini in the elements - by supercar kids driving in the snow
Lamborghini in the elements – by supercar kids

Lastly, you’ll find that a number of winter driving schools are available all across the nation through many different organizations. They are offered at a variety of locations from tracks to open lots and can be very helpful for every level of experienced driver. Check them out and sign up.

At the end of the day, it’s not so much what you’re driving, but how you’re driving it and how you’ve prepared yourself for the situation. I’ve seen very high end sports cars navigate the winter roads just fine and that includes cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. Several of my friends, in fact, use their Porsches year round because they can and they do it like champs!