all wheel drive safety concernsTop
Is all wheel drive car safer than a two-wheel drive one? No, it is not. All wheel drive is not a safety feature. All wheel drive is needed for better traction. Better traction means getting the car moved in difficult road conditions. All wheel drive can make your car faster, not safer.
All wheel drive lets you:
- Accelerate faster on a slippery road.
- Get out of a snowdrift.
- Drive off-road (off-road capabilities depend on the vehicle).
All wheel drive does not let you:
- Decelerate better.
- Drive faster through a slippery curve (we are not talking about racing and rally-style snow drifting here).
When braking and turning, the same inertia, or centrifugal forces are applied to the vehicle, no matter if it is a four wheel drive or two wheel drive vehicle. Faster acceleration does not mean faster braking.
Besides, a vehicle with part-time all wheel drive system can be dangerous when driven in four-wheel drive mode. The vehicle heavily understeers (slides off the curve) and this can lead to an accident. Part-time all wheel drive is for off-road use only. When on the road, you must switch back to two-wheel drive.
In winter conditions, good winter tires are more important than all wheel drive. All wheel drive will not help you to stop or turn the vehicle on ice or snow.
Do not overestimate the capabilities of your all wheel drive vehicle.
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