I've had several years of experience driving an SUV on and off the road. It was a 1991 2-door Chevy Blazer
4x4. I have also driven a 1994 Ford Explorer
for a year or two. Here, I'll give a few tips on how to properly drive your SUV, especially in winter conditions.
- When approaching dips or descents on the trail, take your foot of the accelerator and let your momentum take you down, controlled with the brakes. Also keep in lower gears for steeper descents.
- In snow and ice, the faster you go, the longer and the more distance you will need to stop your vehicle. This applies to all vehicles. Also recall your physics class! The greater the mass of the vehicle, the more force/better grip is needed to control your vehicle. Therefore, drive slowly. The four-wheel drive works better when it has surfaces to grip.
- Make your turns at a slower speed to prevent the vehicle from tipping over due to its higher centre of gravity. I've seen an SUV on its side in the city because of a hard turn! The worse thing that could happen is having your SUV powerslide and then suddenly grip the road, causing you to tip over and perform some undesirable circus acts.
- Respect your SUV. It is not a WRC (World Rally Car) and you are not out there to win medals. Treat your SUV with respect, and it will return the favour.
- Just before you hit the peak when you ascend a climb, let your foot off some of the gas to prevent overshooting to the descent.
- Approach obstacles at an angle to prevent your SUV from being lodged upon the object. The rules here is to keep at least three tires on the ground at all times!
-In deep snow, again, use your momentum, epecially when going uphill. I've seen some SUVs lose momentum uphill when they decide to slow down or stop completely in the middle of an ascent. Then they start to slide backwards.
Most of these tips should be executed at slow speeds no greater than 50km/h. 15 to 30km/h is ideal.
Reader Disclaimer applies here.