Safety in the Snow: A Simple Guide to Choosing the Best Winter Vehicle

What's the most important thing to look for when buying a car? 

Some people would argue that safety features matter over anything else, while others prioritize smart driving technology and advanced features.

But, if you live in Rochester, NY or anywhere else where it snows, the most important thing to consider when buying a car is how well you'll be able to get around during the winter. 

Driving on ice-covered roads and in heavy snowfall is no joke. You need to make sure your new vehicle is capable of handling such conditions and keeping you safe every step of the way. 

Here are 3 features all the best winter vehicles have, which you can't afford to overlook.

1. Only Look at Cars with All-Wheel Drive 

All-wheel drive creates the highest level of friction on wet or icy roads. It allows the car to distribute weight evenly among all 4 tires instead of separating the weight between the front and back wheels in two groups. 

This can be the difference between skidding on a wet road or being able to drive safely as you go about your day. Keep in mind all-wheel drive is sometimes referred to as 4-wheel drive. 

2. Ask About Stability Control Features 

As important as having all-wheel drive is, it works even better when paired with advanced safety features. This includes things like smart braking, anti-lock braking, lane change assistance, and even adaptive cruise control. 

Aside from anti-lock braking, most of these have become fairly common among recent models from different manufacturers. Anti-lock brakes are safer than standard ones in the snow because they keep your wheels from coming to an abrupt stop, which prevents hydroplaning.

3. Wiper De-Icers, Winter Tires, and More  

Additional features to look for when buying a car that can handle the snow are wiper de-icers and winter tires. The last thing you want is to put money on a down payment for a new car in October just to realize you need to purchase an entire set of new tires for it in November. You're better off trying to bundle this purchase or buying a car that already has snow-friendly tires. 

Wiper de-icers are more of a want than a need, but they are good to have if you can get them. These will make the ice on your windshield melt much faster than normal, which means you can get on your way quicker rather than wasting time scraping the glass. 

Deciding Among the Best Winter Vehicles

You can read about which winter features to look for in a new vehicle as much as you want, but at some point, you have to actually make a decision!

Be sure to test a few of the best winter vehicles before you identify your final option. Talk about all of their features and performance ratings with your dealership representative, too. 

For more car-buying insights regarding winter vehicles and year-round favorites, click here

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