Good tire friction can help prevent crashes

You have a vehicle that doesn't handle great in the snow. You've always heard that adding weight to the back of a truck bed or in the trunk of your car will help, but is that actually a reality?

The truth may surprise you. Instead of adding weight to the back or front of your vehicle, the goal is actually to add weight over the wheels themselves. The wheels need the added traction, and adding weight over the wheels that is centered helps them press more firmly into the snow and prevent crashes.

What does that mean for adding weight to your vehicle?

You should add weight to the back of a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, but the same is not true for a front-wheel-drive vehicle. Adding weight to the rear of a front-wheel-drive vehicle actually lowers the vehicle's ability to gain friction below the front tires.

In an all-wheel-drive vehicle, you shouldn't add weight in the back. You want the weight of the vehicle to be distributed as equally as possible, so all four wheels can grip the ground at the same time.

If you do need to add weight to your vehicle, don't add too much. The maximum it's suggested to add in a sedan or SUV is only 100 pounds. This amount of weight will flatten your tires and create a larger area for contact. This helps you slow down faster, since you have a better grip on the road.

Our site has more on traffic accidents and the steps you can take if you get hurt in one. The weather is changing, so be prepared by knowing if you should weigh down your vehicle.

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