Why is Momentum Theory so hard to grasp RE: winter driving?


$100 Site Donor 2021
Apr 28, 2008
Ontario, Canada
Understanding tires for one, and most every new vehicle seems to have low profile wide tires, I'll reference as the 'sport' look, even the AWD vehicles, the sport look obviously sells better. And being they're getting an AWD, what could be better in any road conditions...

My observation of a Lexus IS350, basically (to me) a AWD v6 Corolla, my thought was unclear as to what makes sense to any of this, a car with AWD but low profile wide tires, so you could off-road with it but no ground clearance? And why would anyone who wants a fast car buy an AWD? I'm sure there's reason, fun car, and it might be better handling in the rain.

Next I'd say the driver's anxiety and lack of patience, we all probably make mistakes when driving and best to stay away from any and every vehicle as much as you can. I'll even slow way down just to stay back from the driver in front of me, or a slow pace in the left turn lane to stay back out of the intersection until it's cleared.

Tailgating and not using the turn signal are 2 other things that may cause confusion as road conditions change...I try to stay way back especially on the highway where there can be a whole gang of cars tailgating each other, and sometimes you can't even see there's another car in front of said tailgater's.
My Jeep has low profile wide tires, this is somewhat necessitated by the size of the brakes, which mandate a minimum wheel size of 20".

It's very capable in deep snow and the AWD system (which has an electronic rear locker) is fantastic.


Thread starter
Aug 3, 2017
Physics. Not taught in school anymore.

Taught? Sure. Practiced in the field? Not a chance. Same goes for parallel parking: they teach geometry in school, yet I know very few people MY age who are proficient with parallel parking. I, myself, couldn't put geometry into practice on paper if you paid me.

Now, put me behind the wheel of a minivan and tell me to squeeze it in a space more fit for a Corolla? Allow me to roll up my sleeves and make magic happen.
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Aug 12, 2015
Central NY
A few weeks ago I was running up to Northern NY and a snow storm came through out of nowhere. I couldn’t even count how many cars were in the ditch with extensive body damage. I mean, can you not see it went from sunny/dry to instant white out? Did it ever cross your mind that you should probably slow down instead of maintaining 70 mph on 3” of snow?

There are people who don’t have the mental capability to understand this and the fact they share the roads with us is insane.
Mar 20, 2015
I think i’ve only had that happen once. I actually started driving faster once i realized how few of those faster drivers were in the ditch. could be a regional thing. We get mostly snow up here.

I figure I will ditch it every so often. Been almost 20 years since I have. But its bound to happen some time.

Yeah you can drive faster in straight line…

The problem is you can’t slow down at all hardly or stop.

And I nor you have the talent of a F-1 driver or NASCAR driver or Indy car driver IF anything gets just a bit out of whack going “faster”. Because by going faster in snow or heavy rain conditions if something goes wrong we have made it exponentially much more difficult to recover from that.

You do just the wrong thing with steering input or hit the brake pedal too hard… You are done for. As soon as we lock up the brakes and the wheels stop spinning we ain’t winning.

And by going faster… when you hit or make contact with something that will not move at all… it will be with a lot more force which opens the door to physical injury being a lot more serious.

Say someone is driving 30 mph. Hitting a tree at 20 mph is going to suck… Getting hurt is a possibility but it will not be too bad at all. Then say someone is driving 50-55 mph Then they hit a tree at 40-45 mph… Then chances are a good bit higher.

I’m saying all of that because I was driving honestly way, way too fast aka 67 mph in a very, very heavy rainstorm in my area and hit a bad bad spot of water on rte 199 going over Mooretown Rd overpass and the ONLY reason I didn’t have a massively bad accident… I didn’t over steer and never touched the brake pedal. I almost went off the left side of that pavement aka less than a 1 foot left to spare or so. It was that close and I knew that if my car got off the road and on that wet grass… The chance I could recover my car and not have a MASSIVE crash was like 1 in a 1,000. I barely and I mean barely put a tiny tiny micro movement input into my steering wheel to the right and ended up 3-4 feet into the right lane. Then I did the same back to the left and then the car got grip again.

If I had grabbed a handful of steering wheel at all in that whole circumstance I would have been done for. Or if I had stood on the brakes. I would have been done for.

I had just enough calmness and talent and candidly good luck not to have had a accident that could have easily killed me or another innocent other driver on that road that day.
Nov 9, 2008
Yeah you can drive faster in straight line…

The problem is you can’t slow down at all hardly or stop.
I’ve been suckered a time or two, had my own pucker moments fer sure. Misread one winter day and nearly went for the ditch (wouldn’t have been the only one that day on that section of the road).

I keep my worst driving for the highway. I screw up and it’s just a long walk. Roads are done much better, side roads have potholes and poor drainage and poor visibility, and hidden driveways and what else, so I don’t care much for pushing my luck there. Don’t care for people speeding past my house, so I don’t speed past theirs.