Do I Need Four Wheel Drive In Highlands Ranch?
Courtesy of MovingToHighlandsRanch.com
"Do I need four wheel drive in Highlands Ranch?"
This is a popular question from those moving from a non-snow region of the state or country. If I had to answer "yes" or "no", I would say "no". Is it a helpful feature to have on your vehicle during the winter? Absolutely.
HOW GOOD IS THE SNOW REMOVAL?
Keep in mind that winter conditions vary from year to year. During a light to moderate storm (I would define as less than 10 inches), the snow typically melts within 24 hours on road surfaces. Combine that with Douglas County's well-oiled snow removal crews and it's not uncommon to see major roads cleared within a few hours after snowfall stops.
If you look at the traffic accident data for Highlands Ranch in 2011 provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, there were a total of 1229 non-injury accidents, 273 injury accidents and 4 fatal accidents. Given the Highlands Ranch population of approximately 93,000 residents, that's a non-injury accident occurence rate of 1.32% for the whole year. I'd say the odds are pretty low.
ADVICE FOR WINTER DRIVING
So here are some things to think about when contemplating this question of four wheel drive:
1. If you have two vehicles, consider having one that is four wheel drive or all-wheel drive. That's what we did. When we felt we really needed it, we just took the truck and put it in four wheel drive.
2. Plan ahead based on the storm. Get to the store and run your errands the day before so you don't have be out in the snow. Even with four wheel drive, it doesn't mean you are guaranteed to be accident free.
3. Learn the basics of winter driving: slow down, allow space from the car in front of you, downshift into lower gears so you don't need to use the breaks as much, and don't accelerate while turning the vehicle. If you want some practice, head over to the local high school parking lot right after a storm and learn how to handle the vehicle on snow and ice.
So for those asking, "Do I need four wheel drive if moving to Highlands Ranch?", I certainly would not rush out and get four wheel drive if you don't have it. Like I said, the roads are plowed really well and the snow melts fast here. Rest easy and enjoy the beautiful winters!