Partly Cloudy
74°FPartly CloudyFull Forecast

Out Here: Overconfidence in 4-wheel drive

Published: Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 10:55 a.m. CDT
Caption
David Giuliani

I don't have four-wheel drive these days. But when I did years ago, I got cocky with it. 

Once when a foot of snow fell, I decided to rescue a co-worker who didn't have the advantage of four-wheel drive. I figured I could take on the treacherous roads.

I ended up stuck. 

A guy in a pickup truck tried to pull me out, but it didn't work. I waited a day, when much of the snow had melted. Humbled, I drove the Jeep away.

Over the past few weeks, I have come across a couple of instances in which folks with four-wheel drive found themselves off the road and stuck.

One co-worker went slightly off the road near Rock Falls to use his phone. When he was done, he found he could go nowhere.

I tried to push him out – to no avail. Another co-worker showed up, and our combined muscle (my contribution being meager) didn't do the trick. We waved down a passing motorist, who joined in. Still no success.

Fortunately, the guy had a pickup truck and a chain, so he quickly pulled out my co-worker, who said he thought his four-wheel drive could have handled a few inches of snow.

The other day, when I was reporting on a fire on West Seventh Street in Sterling, a neighbor couldn't get out of his driveway because of police and fire vehicles. So he tried to leave through a foot of snow. Didn't work. 

He told me he figured his four-wheel drive could handle the layer of snow.

There's a trend here: Folks with four-wheel drive often succumb to overconfidence. 

It sure helps, but it's not infallible.

David Giuliani is a news editor for Sauk Valley Media. You can reach him at dgiuliani@saukvalley.com or 800-798-4085, ext. 525. Follow him on Twitter: @DGiuliani_SVM.

More News

National video



Reader Poll

An 82-year-old Sterling man recently parachuted from a plane for the first time. Would you ever skydive?
Yes, I've never done it but would try it
Yes, I've already skydived and enjoy it
No, I've never done it and don't want to
No, I've done it and don't want to again