We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In the back woods of the Northeast, most local people drive crappy little old RWD rusty GM sedans and zoom around nicely with snow tires while the skiers from the cities slip and slide their Subarus and 4-WD Suburbans, Range Rovers, and Escalades all over the roads and into the ditches.
Amusing. New, my AWD Talon turbo, on Goodyear AS road tires, wouldn't even slip a wheel on hardpack snow when doing 3/4 throttle starts. In the Tahoe powder, it never once got stuck, never slipped off a road, and never failed to rocket away from a stop.
I drove it three seasons there, up and down the pass highway countless times, never once losing control or getting stuck. On all season tires. It was the most confident winter driving I've ever experienced in 30 years on the road.
All sorts of conventional rear-rive cars - including more than a few 4wd pickups - ended up in drifts or ditches on their snowies. I just drove around them. Back in MI, I spun a Pontiac through 360 once, and lost a Ford more than a few times. They were snowie-equipped rwd cars.
Years ago, living in the Sierra foothills of California and doing a lot of skiing, I soon learned that a Subaru with M&S tires was my best option. I could go anywhere without trepidation. I never got stuck. I did, however, park on glare ice, and when I went to drive away, all four wheels just spun without gaining traction. The passengers got out and pushed, which got me going again. Another time, I was driving down a snow covered road at about 20 mph and the car did a 360. That was interesting. Luckily, there was no other traffic, and I didn't end up in the ditch. This is not to say I was reckless. Even with the right tires, stopping and turning must be approached with caution. M&S tires have served me well. I still have a Subaru.
or they just ignore the road being closed...until recently the dirt road next to our house was closed in the winter; with the the advent of the GPS system which routes everyone down it it is now open, pity that. The town's plough drift was located at the top of the first steep incline, next to our barn. It was not uncommon for people to come racing off the main road and bury themselves in the drift.
The only one I ever felt remotely sorry for was a Volvo which got all the way up the hill on the closed road...and encountered the drift. He had to back all the way down.
Hive dwellers can do no better even with studded snow tires or chains. Been that way since at least the 60s. Seen enough of them in upstate Pennsylvania and New York when I was growing up. It ain't the tires. It's the drivers.
Dis agree strongly about AWD! Its a marvel if you have the right system.
I drive a 12-yr. old Jag X-type with AWD, equipped with M/S tires and its pulled me through blizzards in the Rockies (La Veta Pass, Vail Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel approaches as well as up and down the Front Range on snow-covered glare ice. No studs, no snow tires, just the old M/S tires, often with a good deal of tread wear. No problems!
I've got good All Season tires on the Subaru my wife drives, and they've been flat out awesome. We live in Denver, and the last 2 winters (we moved here in Jan. of 2013) I never had any problem when driving properly (I would occasionally push things to see if the tires where the traction broke).
I've got proper snow tires on my HJ60, but that's more because I had bad "All Terrain" tires designed for hot weather that still had lots of life, so I just slapped on some other rims with new snow tires. So far so good.
William O. B'Livion
One of the most magnificent snow and ice vehicles ever is (was?) the GM Astro/Safari van in AWD. Heavy, solid, good clearance, built on a truck frame.
Everything else about them, from fit and finish to the cost of maintaining the AWD system was appalling, but the old beasts would cruise easily where very expensive 4WD and AWD vehicles were stuck.
I'm coming to the end of the life of my second Astro and I have no idea what to replace it with.
OK, another vote for "how to drive in real snow and come home in one piece".
Now wasn't that easy? Like others in these comments, I live in the Sierra-Nevada mountains. Contrary to popular belief, we have serious snow up here. 10'-15' accumulated is not unusual, even in the piedmont.
For the past 12 years I have driven a Subaru Legacy Outback (AKA my Beloved Subaru). 15 November the Winter tires go on and remain in place until 15 April. Right now I am using Yokahama LRR, YK580's. Rain, snow, ice, sleet and hail - all the same. Drive carefully, watch out for Flatlanders and my Beloved Subaru will handle the rest.
In summary: "All Season" tires are a delusion. I've seen more than a few cars which use them dropped off to the side of the road. The California Highway Patrol snickers at folks who think they are going to drive up to Lake Tahoe on "All Season" tires. For them, it's chains or go home. If you intend to drive in serious snow, you must have 4WD or AWD (preferably Subaru) and Winter tires. Why? 'Cause I'm not going to pull you out...again.