To the Editor:
So, it seems we have entered the time of year when driving conditions have become more dangerous. During my commute to and from college, I noticed what is not an uncommon sight here in northern Illinois: vehicles in the ditch. During my short drive, I counted eight cars in the ditch. I noticed more than half of these vehicles were SUVs and not sedans or compact cars. I was puzzled because my belief was that SUVs are superior at driving in poor road conditions then sedans. So, I asked myself, Why is it that I seen more SUVs in the ditch than sedans? The answer to my question is seemingly obvious, yet something we might forget at times. It is less about the type of car you are driving, and more about how you drive your car.
Usually, sedans handle poorly in the snow. In general, people driving compact cars and sedans are aware of their car’s lack of handling on rough snowy roads so they will compensate for this lack of handling by driving slower and more defensive. In contrast, SUVs and bigger vehicles handle much better in the snow. This creates a sense of confidence for the driver, esulting in the drivers of SUVs, 4x4s and pickup trucks to feel like they are invincible in any road condition and able to drive as if pavement is free and clear. As a result, you are more prone to ending up in the ditch if you are the confident SUV driver than the defensive sedan driver. As we continue this snowy season, it is important to remember no matter what vehicle you drive, always drive carefully, because you don’t want to ruin your day and end up in the ditch.