4-Wheel-Drive Vehicles Not Immune To Slippery Roads 

Winter storms like the one that hit Maine on Wednesday make a mess of sidewalks as well as roadways. Slippery roads are the big reason Mainers invest in 4-wheel, and all-wheel-drive vehicles. “In the snow you’re going to have better traction with 4-wheel-drive because you have all four wheels with power to them at the same time instead of just two,” says Billie Richards, General Manager at VIP in Waterville.But just because you’re driving a 4-wheel-drive vehicle doesn’t make you immune to slippery roads. “Slow down,” Richards advises, “just because you have 4-wheel-drive does not mean you have all the power in the world.”When people don’t heed that advice they usually wind up calling someone like Tom Hachey, co-owner of Arbos Towing. Hachey says he sees quite a few 4-wheel-drives towed in to his shop in Waterville. “All the time,” Hachey says, “they’re frequent flyers. We have a saying around here the 4-wheel drive people just go a little farther off the road so it costs them a little more to get back on the road.”Billie Richards at VIP says these vehicles handle differently than 2-wheel drive cars which catches some drivers by surprise. “There are some vehicles that have 4-wheel steering even which can also cause some handling differences. All wheel drive is also going to be different than 4-wheel-drive because with all-wheel-drive it kicks in when the tires start spinning.”While handling can be part of the problem it’s speed that seems to be the common denominator that lands 4-wheel-drive vehicles off the road. “Drive too fast you’re gonna go off the road,” Hachey warns, “or you’re gonna hit someone else or something.” Adding that if you’re on ice nothing is going to help you “Doesn’t matter unless you got skates on.”