Car, snow, road, slush, winter driving, winter

Living in the Midwest means living with four seasons and all the elements that come along with it. Drivers are faced with the daunting task of driving through rain and snow nearly half of the year. This can be frustrating, but more importantly, dangerous and nerve-wracking!

You can’t stop the snow from falling or the rain from puddling, but you can select a vehicle with all-wheel drive (AWD) to “lighten the load” of driving, if you will, in inclement weather.

All-Wheel Drive, Front-Wheel Drive, and Rear-Wheel Drive

If a vehicle doesn’t have all-wheel drive, chances are it is a front-wheel drive (FWD) or rear-wheel drive (RWD) vehicle. All these terms are simply describing how the weight of your vehicle is distributed across the drivetrain. AWD vehicles evenly distribute the weight across all four tires, while FWD shifts most of the weight to the front of your vehicle, and RWD shifts most of the weight to the back of your vehicle.  

Full-Time AWD vs. Part-Time AWD

All-wheel drive vehicles can either be full-time, or part-time. This simply means the vehicle uses all-wheel drive all the time (full-time), or only when more traction is required (part-time). Either/or, a vehicle with AWD capability will provide you with 3 major benefits:

1. Better Traction

One of the greatest advantages of AWD vehicles is superior traction. AWD systems provide an even distribution of power to all four tires, even if one begins to slip/skid. This means that the other wheels will compensate for the tire that is losing traction, making driving on slick roads significantly safer.

2. Better Towing Capabilities

The benefits of AWD all circle back around to having better traction. With better traction and more evenly distributed weight, you will have a stronger towing capacity. If you’re pulling something through dirt, sandy areas, or snow – AWD will reduce the chances of you getting stuck.

3. Better Acceleration

Hand-in-hand with optimal traction comes optimal acceleration. An AWD vehicle provides power to all wheels simultaneously, which ultimately provides better acceleration. This can be useful when stopping and going in wet or snowy conditions.


When it comes to the safety of yourself and your loved ones, AWD vehicles can certainly provide peace of mind in inclement weather conditions. No matter the vehicle, be sure to follow the do’s and dont’s of winter driving to avoid any unwanted surprises!

Contact your local Rockford Mutual Insurance Agent to receive ALL the coverage you need for your ALL-wheel drive vehicle:

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Amy Casey
Social Media & Communications Specialist
Amy joined Rockford Mutual in January of 2017 with an Associates Degree in Marketing. Amy has a great understanding of insurance in general as she has obtained her Associate in General Insurance designation.