Many Greenville, South Carolina, drivers choose rear-wheel drive vehicles for their impressive performance dynamics in fair weather. Yet once the mild South Carolina autumn turns to winter, Simpsonville drivers have to face the prospect of driving their rear-wheel drive vehicle in snow. In icy conditions, that rear-wheel drive car or SUV that handles so well in the summer can easily start sliding all over the road, endangering the lives of its occupants and other drivers. So how can Spartanburg, South Carolina, drivers ensure that they stay safe in their rear-wheel drive vehicle, even on snowy roads?

Benson Alfa Romeo is proud to help drivers across the Carolinas experience some of the finest luxury vehicles on the planet. Our friendly, knowledgeable sales representatives can help drivers feel confident that they are getting a fair price on their vehicle. And after our customers first leave the lot, our dedicated service center is available to help drivers maintain their Alfa vehicles. Contact us for more information.

Contact

Benson Alfa Romeo

500a W Wade Hampton Blvd
Directions Greer, SC 29650

  • Sales: 888-380-1716
  • Service: 888-473-2689
  • Parts: 888-452-2592

Hours

  • Monday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Tuesday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Wednesday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Thursday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Friday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Saturday 9 am to 7 pm
  • Sunday By Appointment

Why is Snow So Dangerous?

Snowy weather is especially challenging to rear-wheel drive vehicles. Many drivers prefer rear-wheel drive vehicles because these systems offer better traction during fair weather. The extra drivetrain components in the back help balance out the weight of the engine and keep the vehicle's center of gravity even. This means that the vehicle does better when turning and cornering on dry roads.

When the roads are covered with snow and ice, the situation is different. Winter weather drastically decreases the amount of traction vehicles get from the road. While the balanced weight pattern of a rear-wheel drive vehicle is helpful in dry weather, it proves a disadvantage in the snow.

With most vehicles, the weight of the engine on top of the drive wheels adds an extra layer of stability in snowy conditions. Yet in rear-wheel drive vehicles, the engine and the drive wheels are on different ends of the car. With less weight comes less stability, making the drive wheels more likely to lose traction.

The problems with this weight distribution are most apparent when turning. If the driver of a rear-wheel drive vehicle is too fast on a turn, the drive wheels slide sideways in a phenomenon known as understeer. Drivers of rear-wheel drive vehicles sometimes opt to carry a heavy item, such as bricks, in their trunk to help increase stability.

Safe Snow Driving Tips

Whether or not their vehicle has rear-wheel drive, South Carolina drivers should keep a few basic safety tips in mind.

As always, slow down during bad weather, and keep your distance from other vehicles. Keep your gas tank at least half full. Before you drive your vehicle, ensure that you have abundant supplies of food and warm clothing, just in case you do get stuck. And if you do get stuck, having a shovel, as well as a gritty substance such as sand or kitty litter, can help you get back on the road.

Ensure that your tires have plenty of traction. Some drivers choose to invest in a set of snow tires for rough weather. Contact your local dealership to determine which tires are best for your vehicle.

In addition to keeping your vehicle's speed slow, you should be careful when using the steering wheel or pedals. Making sudden movements is one of the best ways for drivers to find themselves in an uncontrollable skid. Avoid using the pedals as much as possible. Also, do not use cruise control or semiautonomous driving systems during difficult winter weather.

Traditionally, drivers learned to pump their brakes to stop in the snow. With the addition of anti-lock brakes to modern cars, this rule no longer holds. If you do need to press the brake, you should apply even, but firm and steady, pressure. The anti-lock braking system will ensure that the brakes do not seize up. However, if you drive an older vehicle, you will still have to pump the brakes in order to stop safely.

Conclusion

Winter driving brings a challenging set of new hazards for all drivers, especially those piloting rear-wheel drive vehicles. Proper winter driving skills can take years of experience to master. Even then, the unpredictability of one's fellow drivers always adds to the danger. By being prepared, and ensuring that their vehicle is in the best shape possible, South Carolina drivers can work to minimize the dangers inherent in snowy roadways.

At Benson Alfa Romeo, we have extensive experience with helping our customers find their next favorite vehicle. Our broad selection of new, used and certified pre-owned offerings can serve many different sorts of customers. And with our top-class finance and service centers, customers can easily afford and maintain their vehicles. Visit us at 500a West Wade Hampton Blvd. or call us at (864) 372-9144 to learn more or to schedule a test drive.

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