The One Thing To Remember About Four-Wheel Drive

Driving in snowy weather approaching a overpass with a car driving underneath it. Blog graphic for blog post the one thing to remember about four-wheel drive for awomansoutlook.com
Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

If you think you are invincible in an SUV or truck with four-wheel drive during snowy icy weather, you’re not. Four-wheel drive vehicles are like any other vehicle when they are on ice; out of control! Unless you regain traction, no matter which way you steer, you’re going to go wherever your momentum takes you.

All my life I have lived where it snows in winter. Every snowy winter, I see folks zooming around in their big vehicles. As they roar past me on the road, I say a little warning for them to be careful, because I know what can happen if they need to stop and find themselves skidding on a patch of unseen ice.

If you think it can’t happen to you, it can. I thought the same thing until one particular night. Want to know what happened, keep reading.

What happened to change my mind about SUVs

Back in 2016, my husband bought a Cadillac SRX (He sold it in 2019). It was one of those nice, big SUVs/crossovers. It was white, with a leather interior, lots of space, and that little dash cam that comes up when you’re backing up. Beautiful!

Well, where I live it snows from time to time. Anytime it snowed, I wanted my eighty-something-year-old grandmother with us in the city.

She lived out in the rural part of the county, and the roads out there would get nasty. So by having her with me, it would be easier to get her where she needed to go if anything happened.

Four-wheel drive being used on snow. Blog graphic for blog post on awomansoutlook.com
Photo by shawnanggg on Unsplash

One time, a snow front came through the area. I called my grandmother, and she agreed to come and stay with me. I made it out to her house okay. We hurriedly packed necessities and then left. Unfortunately, it was dark when we left her house.

When I got to the main road, I saw it was iced over. So I decided to go a different route. No problem, but I had to turn around first. So I decided to use the closest house’s driveway for a turnabout.

The house used to be a little grocery store. So, there was a paved area out front for about five cars to pull in and park.

As I pulled into one of the spots, I realized I had pulled onto a solid sheet of ice. In my heart, I knew this was not going to end well, but I hoped for the best.

So, I put the car in reverse and tried to back up; we didn’t move. I put the vehicle in park and tried to back up again.

At first, the car didn’t move though I could feel the tires spinning. Then suddenly, the car slid to the right. I quickly took my foot off the gas and parked the car.

Crap, I thought. I’m stuck on a solid sheet of ice! I can’t go forward, and I can’t go back.

As I sat there and thought about what to do, the homeowners came out. They told me about the ice patch, and then I realized all their cars were parked on the other side of the house!

At that moment, I felt like an idiot! I had thought four-wheel drive would give me enough traction to get off the ice. but nope it didn’t!

Then the lady homeowner told us that her husband was on the way home and would be able to help us. He was contracted with the city to plow the streets. So I was hopeful he’d be able to help me.

About twenty minutes later, her husband showed up. He got out of his snowplow, hooked one end of a chain to the back bumper of my vehicle and the other to his plow.

After a few minutes of tugging on my vehicle, he pulled it off the patch of ice. I was so thankful to him and his family; and told them so.

Snow cover jeep against a snow covered hill. Blog graphic for blog post for awomansoutlook.com.
Image by byymee from Pixabay

The takeaway

This situation taught me that four-wheel drive was not all-powerful!  It may help in the snow, but not on the ice.

So, the moral of my story is that when you are driving in icy weather, there is one thing to remember when using four-wheel drive.  It’s helpless on ice, so proceed with caution and common sense.

If you want to learn more about driving in snowy, icy weather, Business Insider has an article that discusses 14 things every driver needs to know before driving in the snow. Check it out!

Just saying.

If you have four-wheel drive horror stories about being stranded in the snow, please put them in the comments. They may spark discussion. If you have any comments or want to add anything, add them to the comments section. I’d love to read them.

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