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Discussion Starter #1
How much of a problem is the light weight of the Insight when driving in the snow? I have had mine for 7 months (and loved it), but 10 minutes into the first snowfall of the year, a truck hit me and spun me into a guardrail. I'm pretty sure that the car will be totaled, but now I'm hesitant to buy another one because of the way that it went flying across the road with the slightest bump. Would I be better off to go with another car if I have to drive in snow often, or was my accident just a freak thing?
 

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In terms of accidents, the truck vs. Insight is a matter of weight, the truck probably had over two tons of it, the Insight has less than a ton. You can figure which way the momentum and inertia is going to travel in that arrangement.

In terms of winter drivability, the Insight does as well as any small car I've ever had. As long as the snow hasn't built up above the ride height of the Insight, I've been able to navigate my way anywhere I needed to go. Once the snowfall has gotten above say 6 to 8 inches though, I'm pretty much sitting tight until the plows come through. That's pretty much the same as my other small cars I've had in the past though, Honda Civic and a Subaru GL-5.
 

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Speakin as someone...

...who has totalled a car or two in the past, in the case of car vs. truck flying out of the way isn't always such a bad thing. Having the engine block in your lap (or the truck's) is a lot worse.

Sorry to hear about your accident, but consider this: you're hear on this forum posing this question. Many would say the car therefore did its job.

Size doesn't always matter. I've known of a few people who died in minivans and SUVs, strapped in their seatbelts and/or child seats. A lot of it is how the forces are distributed through the body of the car.
 

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This is tough. To me, it looks like you already made your mind at changing for an other car model. I do not know what I would do if I was you.

When I look at me past, I always bought a big 4x4 after being ran into by an other driver
1977 Firebird-> boom -> 1980 Cherooke
1989 Taurus -> boom -> 1990 Cherooke
But I always came back to a car. I sold the 1980 Cherooke 360 V8 because a month of gas cost more than the car payment of the Taurus.

I drive in snow from December to April. I am among the ones who says "Absolutly no car should drive in snow without snow tires, it should be illegal" I never had a problem yet. I always have snow tires.
It is actually not true. I did past through a red light when I had put my 4 season tires too early and we received a snow fall in April 2004

Did you have snow tires and did the truck have them

You will always find a larger vehicule than you. If you impact it, you will be the most vulnerable one. If you buy a Hummer 1, you could be hit by a bus or a tractor trailer.

If you are OK now, than the car was good. I am sure that if you had a slightly larger car, you would have slipped on the snow also.

Good luck with your next car or truck.
 

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The way your Insight handles in snow has nothing to do with the weight of the car. It has to do with weight distribution front to rear, tire tread and traction, brakes, steering, and most of all the driver. For example, for many year I had a honda crx hf, which is roughly the same size as the Insight and 120 pounds lighter than the Insight. It had terrific traction and balance in the snow. It was a super-good snow car. The Insight has slightly less ground clearance in the front, so you don't want to drive through real deep snow. If you like you Insight, keep it. But don't get rid of it just because you THINK it is not a good snow car..... Billy...
 

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I don't quite see the relationship between "good in snow" and "spinning into a guardrail as a result of being hit by another vehicle." Unless your vehicle has treads, your course is pretty much always going to be diverted (possibly resulting in a collision) if another vehicle impacts your car, be it an Insight or an armoured personell carrier.
 

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Sorry to hear about the collision.
The key is to avoid collisions not hope to survive them.
Taking advanced driver training courses and using winter tires are the most important things anyone can do to significantly reduce the chances of ever experiencing another collision again.
Take an advanced winter driving course and you will amazed how much you will learn about avoiding collisions. And you will amazed how much your driving skills improve practicing driving exercises with expert driving instructors with ice racing experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Foxpaw, even though the truck hit the back of my Insight, it didn't hit all that hard and it still made me spin 920 degrees. I know that the truck hitting me had nothing to do with Snow handling, but I don't think that most cars would have gone that out of control from a little bump. Still, I'm glad to hear that other people haven't had major problems in snow because I love the Insight and just want some assurance that it shouldn't be any major problem if I buy another.

On the bright side, I was regretting buying a CVT instead of a manual transmision, so I can get the one that I want now (assuming a dealership around me can get order one).
 

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I had a heavy 4x4 and the handling in snow was very close to the one on a dry street. Compared to all my other cars.

In 6 or 8 inch of snow, at a stop I could floor the gas pedal and accelerate as fast as on dry pavement.

This made my remember my first truck. From 4 mpg to 9 mpg in Winter and while in 4x4. That was not cheap on gas. Here are some pics I just found of when I towed my 5000 pound boat without brakes on the trailer:
http://www.insight.100freemb.com/tanzer75.html
I just made that page
 

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Foxpaw said:
I don't quite see the relationship between "good in snow" and "spinning into a guardrail as a result of being hit by another vehicle."
Agreed. Sorry to read that the original poster got rammed, but the experience would leave me more concerned about the idiocy of other drivers in snow and not so concerned about the ability to handle snow of either myself or my Insight.
 

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Yves M. said:
I drive in snow from December to April. I am among the ones who says "Absolutly no car should drive in snow without snow tires, it should be illegal"
This is my third winter without snow tires and I have had no problems. I live 70 miles from where I work, as does someone else in my developement with a four wheel drive truck. He hasn't been able to get to work several times while I haven't missed a day yet because of snow, and I am usually the fastest vehicle on the road :!:
 

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Yes bfivelove Some good drivers can use all season. But most are not good drivers. I had a car ramming me on the side because he did not stop at his Stop sign. He did not have good tires, he should have braked miles before. I was on a large street and I had neither a stop or a light.

A very good example of the worst feature of the all-season is the fact that the rubber is stiffer. This is to be able to drive in the summer and make the tire last.

This Monday morning it was very cold. Below -18 C and there where many accidents (more than 20 in my area when I left, listening to the radio). It was sunny and the pavement was dry. But the all-season are so stiff that they are like plastic at colder temp. So they slide for no reason other than the cold. I am sure all those accidents could have been otherwise if they had winter tires.

A good driver would know and would leave more room between cars. But there are bad drivers. And all-season slows the traffic down. They have a harder time to start on lights and brake

Of course, it is my opinion only
 

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Someone that uses all season tires in winter conditions is abviously not a good driver. I don't care how safe people feel driving in all seasons because the fact is their stopping distance is 30% to 50% longer on ice and snow compared to using winter tires. I'm one of the instructors of an advanced winter car control school and I drive all all the student's cars in some of the driving exercises to demonstrate proper technique.
The difference between tires is alarming! Even cheap winter tires provide a huge increase in stopping and turning grip over premium "all season" tires.
Getting stuck should be the least of your worries.
We call them no season tires because their design compromises winter, summer and rain performance.
The Insight OEM tires are an example of a tire with huge compromises, because it is able to be the lowest rolling resistance tire by sacrificing safety and comfort.
Choose your priorities.
There is no need to compromise your safety because an Insight with winter tires is still the most fuel efficient car in North America.
 

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Guillermo said:
Someone that uses all season tires in winter conditions is abviously not a good driver.
The key words in your opinionated sentence are ALL SEASON tires. Am I wrong to assume they are for ALL seasons, or is there some other reason they call them ALL season tires? And you are correct, I am not a good driver, I am a GREAT driver :p Someone who can drive in snow with ALL season tires must be :!:
 

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"Someone that uses all season tires in winter conditions..."

Well, obviously you folks have a different definition of winter than we do. Around here, you will see snow accumulation on valley roads only a few times in an average winter. (Which this one definitely is not, BTW.) It usually lasts a day or two, then melts. Unless you're a skiier or have some other reason for driving into the mountains, you'll drive in snow maybe once or twice a year, so why bother with winter tires?

I do ski, and have done just fine with the stock all-season tires. I do carry chains, but have had to use them just once in two years.
 

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Guillermo said:
Someone that uses all season tires in winter conditions is abviously not a good driver.

(snip)

We call them no season tires because their design compromises winter, summer and rain performance. (snip)
I think "We" must be your fellow tire salesmen. Am I right?

I had a set of snows that came with a car I had in my 20s. They were useful then. But since then, I always choose an "aggressive" all-season and I haven't been stuck or had an accident in 20 years of driving (so far).

I live in the lake-effect snow belt of West Michigan and drive 60 miles round trip to work every day.
 

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bfivelover said:
Am I wrong to assume they are for ALL seasons, or is there some other reason they call them ALL season tires?
.

All season tires is a marketing term. The only legal requirement to call a tire an all season tire is having a minimum void to tire surface ratio.
These the legal standards for tires have not changed since the 1960s.
Companies know people are lazy and don't want to think about their tires, let alone change them twice a year. So they have to call them all season tires because if the don't they will loose too many sales.
Tire technology has come a long way.
Snow tires from 10+ years ago were just aggressive mud tires. Now the technology in the compound of winter tires allows them to grip ice to a level that is approaching studded tires!

I'm not saying that it's impossible to drive in snow and ice in all season tires [that's what companies what people to call them]. It's just that winter tires provide so much more grip for turning and stopping that it makes logical sense to use them.
It's easy to drive on the highway in the rain with bald tires, anyone can do it and not crash, but is it logical, or worth it?
The difference in grip is that huge!
Everyone that I know that has bought their first modern winter tires and use them in snow a ice for a few weeks has come back to tell me they will never go without them again.

Why do you wear your seatbelt?
Because it's the law or because it's the logical thing to do.
Ignorance is Bliss....
 

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Guillermo said:
[Companies know people are lazy and don't want to think about their tires, let alone change them twice a year.
I'm not saying that it's impossible to drive in snow and ice in all season tires [that's what companies what people to call them]. It's just that winter tires provide so much more grip for turning and stopping that it makes logical sense to use them.
Why do you wear your seatbelt?
Because it's the law or because it's the logical thing to do.
Ignorance is Bliss....
So now I am not only a bad driver, I am also lazy and ignorant? I have been driving in snow for 36 years and think I have a pretty good idea of what I am doing. Would snow tires get me thru the snow a little better? Probably. Do I need snow tires? My 36 years of driving thru the snow tell me that the answer is NO! Knowitallism is ignorance....
 

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That was a generalization. It is also more directed to the colder and snowy areas like here in Canada.

It has nothing to do with places they do not have continued snow.

Lets get back to topic.

The Insight in snow. It is like any other car. I could say it is better than most cars as the aluminum body will last longer in snow areas than most steel bodies
 
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