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Re: Accidents (Was: Re: Quattro Digest V3 #30)

On Wed, 10 Jan 1996, Peter Henriksen wrote:

> Some people think AWD/4WD gives them godlike stopping power too...
> A few years ago there was a major snow storm here in Seattle (12+in in 
> less than an afternoon) and one of the networks had a camera set up by 
> a 4-way intersection. They'd left it running while setting something 
> else up, so the picture was empty apart from all the snow and the 
> intersection. Enter from the left: 1 Nissan Pathfinder (I believe - 
> some sort of 4WD SUV), slowly sliding a little sideways across the 
> picture, eventually toppling over a snow drift on a corner. Everybody 
> was apparently OK, but it was rather hilarious to see on TV.
> Peeve: Giant pickups and SUVs barreling down the freeway in the 
> mountains, 'cause "Dammit - I have 4WD/AWD/snow tires/all-season tires!".
> - peter, peterhe@microsoft.com

You'll probably remember the ice storms we had in the area a few weeks 
ago.  I gusess these types of stormes are not uncommon in the mid west, 
but here in the north west, they never happen.  Any ways, I had to drive 
up to Snoqualmie pass for training.  I was doing about 35 half way up (in 
a '90 subaru legacy, AWD, ABS, poor man's audi quattro), then I had to 
pull over to break the ice off the windshield wipers.  It was when I 
stepped out and slid out into the road (thank god no one was comming) 
that I realized how slick it was.  For the rest of the trip i went 20 to 
25.  It took me over 1.5 hours to do a normally 45 minute trip, but I 
made it.  Can't say the same for a lot of other people.  Countless 
vehicles were strewn over the road.  Many of them were SUV's.  I even saw 
a 67 mustang stuck on the side of the road spinning its rear wheels with 
chains on the front!
The moral is:  AWD or not AWD, once the car gets going, its subject to 
the same laws of physics as everyone else.  It just seems the SUV drivers 
don't know that.