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Old 01-02-2009, 03:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
junkie28
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Default How fast do you drive in the snow?

This is my first real season going snowboard frequently, and I am wondering how fast do you people drive on the highway going up to the mountains? Yes, I know the speed limit is 40 mph for all vehicle, and the limit for chains is 30 mph (I live in California); but really, how fast do you drive? I know most other states, besides say.. like California, Nevada, Oregon, chains aren't necessarily required; good snow tires work just fine, maybe cause the West Coast US has the friggin' snow, ice melting and freezing, i dunno. I was posting on some car forums, and chains seem like it's unheard of by some people, but it's required by law in Cali.

So list
1. How fast you drive
2. What car you drive / Drivetrain (4wd, FWD, RWD)
3. Type of tires: Snow, All-Season, Traction Cables, Chains, Studded tires
4. Maybe some experience you have encountered or seen

This is not to promote unsafe driving, I know you are suppose to drive at your comfort level, and use your common sense, 4wd/chains does not automatically prevent skidding from braking, etc, etc. I just to know the truth. I've heard of semis going at like 40 or 50 mph when it's snowing.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In the snow.. nowadays I dont drive. My car has summer tires on it. Sold my winters to buy another car.. but then lost my job so I am stuck with a half-broken car and a new car on summer tires.

When i did have winters on my 07 Jetta.. I generally used a rule of thumb of about half the speed limit in really bad conditions. If you go too slow, you're going to start spinning. At the same time.. too fast and you're going to have real trouble stopping.

My car is also lowered.. so I need to watch driving it through deep snow or i take the chance of ripping a body kit piece off or something of that sort
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I live in central NY and have a truck with four wheel drive. I drive as fast as I can in the snow while still staying within the speed limit. It's 65 mph on the highway to my hill and I usually can drive that with no problem
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I drive a 4WD. During the last Tahoe storm I was probably one of the faster car going up. I don't see any car in front of me most of time. But there are quite a few cars (all 4WD) that drove faster, they disappeared in front of me soon after they passed me. Their speed is much faster than you mentioned. The road is slippery because I saw a car without chain skidding all the way for a short while before I passed it.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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1. How fast you drive: If my chains are on, no faster than 30. On my trip to Timberline a couple days ago, I was doing about 20mph up the access road at MOST.

2. What car you drive / Drivetrain (4wd, FWD, RWD): 2003 Honda Accord FWD

3. Type of tires: All season tires with chains in the snow.

4. Maybe some experience you have encountered or seen: People think that AWD means they are invincible. AWD has NOTHING to do with traction in the snow. AWD simply helps if you should get stuck. If you are doing 40mph on ice you are going to slide just like anyone else. I watched an AWD Range Rover lose control and almost hit my car. Took out the SUV behind me. What a great first experience in the mountains.
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Old 01-02-2009, 03:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Most modern 4WD will have some kind of computerized traction control built in to prevent slip. But like Flick Montana says, it will still slip if you drive over the limit of the computer.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I rock me an Acura RWD, i believe... I do some crusising in it. Speed limits are for the devil.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, MY car is a 350Z convertible. When we got 6 inches of snow, I couldn't even get INTO the driveway from the garage. It was absolutely USELESS. I'm seriously debating getting one of those Subaru Forester XS things.

Seriously, I don't know why my Z even has traction control. It does nothing. Unless you live in Cali, don't buy one. I'm amazed how many I see around here in Oregon.

So, a little off topic, but does anyone own a Forester XS or a Legacy Outback Sedan?
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have an audi a6 wagon with new yokohama all weather tires. my car handles like a champ in the snow but its normally the others i have to worry about. in salt lake we go up little winding two lane roads to get to resorts. many dont have guard rails and theres many switchbacks and s turns. theres also a few places that dont look menacing but always toss cars into the creek, these you learn over time and are extra careful around. at most up or down ill do 35-40 in a bad storm but ive been in situations where the 12 mile drive down the canyon has taken almost an hour.

flick had a subaru legacy for few years and it was a great car.. upgraded to the audi 2 yrs ago.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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1. How fast you drive?

I go a good 15-20 mph below what I'm normally driving usually, but it depends on the road. I'd rather go a little slower than slide off a cliff or into another car.


2. What car you drive / Drivetrain (4wd, FWD, RWD)

'97 Subaru Outback Legacy (wagon), AWD


3. Type of tires: Snow, All-Season, Traction Cables, Chains, Studded tires

All-Season


4. Maybe some experience you have encountered or seen

First time I went driving through serious snow was in Coal Creek Canyon. That ride scared the living shit out of me lol.. Was going way too fast when I ran into some sharp S turns on the road. Things I learned from that trip: fuck tailgaters in the snow and people drive way too god damn fast.

Last edited by desklamp; 01-02-2009 at 05:14 PM.
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