What Car Features Are Helpful in the Ice and Snow? | Scott Goodwin Law

What Car Features Are Helpful in the Ice and Snow?

by / Wednesday, 20 December 2023 / Published in Tips
Close-up of a car's tires on a snowy road.

If you’re looking for a new car, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the different features that are available now. High-tech features like backup cameras, lane departure warnings, and blind spot detection are all now common safety features on new cars and some cars even have technology to maneuver into parking spaces by themselves. But one thing that’s important for Michigan drivers to think about is how well their cars will handle the snowy and icy roads we get every winter. So if you’re in the market for a new car, what features should you look for to help you stay safe when driving in the winter?

Four-Wheel or All-Wheel Drive

When winter weather strikes, having power going to all four wheels on your car will help give you the traction you need on slippery roads. All-wheel and four-wheel drive options are both good for this purpose, but you might be wondering what the difference is. Four-wheel drive is an always-on system, but all-wheel drive can either be an always-on system or a system you turn on as needed (depending on your vehicle.) All-wheel drive tends to work best for driving on paved roads or when doing some light off-road driving while four-wheel drive tends to be better suited for more extreme road conditions, like steep inclines, thicker snow, and mud. For most people, a car with all-wheel drive works well for their day-to-day driving needs.

Anti-Lock Brakes

On snowy days, drivers need to be able to maintain control over their vehicles while stopping. Anti-lock braking systems can help by automatically pumping the brakes when a driver stops suddenly so that the brakes don’t lock up and prevent the driver from being able to steer. While anti-lock brakes can be helpful for winter driving, it’s extremely important to understand that they do have their limitations. It’s still possible they might not work well on ice, so be careful to not be overly reliant on them. Some of the best ways to avoid having to brake suddenly on a snowy day are to watch your speed and increase your following distance. 

Winter Tires

Since tires come into direct contact with the road, having the right tires can make a big difference on snowy roads. If a car you’re interested in doesn’t come with winter tires, you may want to consider having them installed when the temperatures start to drop. Winter tires are designed to have extra grooves that improve traction and are made out of a type of rubber that remains soft in colder temperatures. The rubber on all-weather tires starts to harden when temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which can make it harder for the tires to maintain a good grip on the road. 

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

The consequences of a car accident can be devastating at any time of year. When crashes involve injuries, don’t hesitate to contact a car accident lawyer for help. At Scott Goodwin Law, you’ll be able to get help from lawyers experienced in helping Michigan car accident victims get the no-fault benefits they need. Contact us to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help you.