Good tires, good brakes, a keen eye, and good reaction time.
I was on my way back from way up north, about a 100 mile ride home. Was bringing my Cruiser home.. (long story).
I've mostly been driving the Buick, and while the brakes and suspension are great, the tires are pretty much a joke, and I really need a set of good tires, probably snows at this point.
But the Cruiser has some great Bridgestone Potenzas, and great brakes. Also is a 5 speed, which makes it pretty fun to drive twisty roads.
I get to the edge of a small town, speed limit of about 40. I see a Jeep Cherokee pull up on a side street going to cross across my line into traffic. He inches forward, and I pull the Cruiser down to 3rd, take my foot off the gas and hover on the brakes just as this guy nails it pulling ot right in front of me. I nail the brakes (also no ABS, needs a WSS) but didn't lock up at all or lose any sense of balance. I stopped within inches of slamming this guys drivers door. Hes lucky he kept moving and I kinda turned to his rear, giving us that split second more time. Of course, he just about nails a car in the other lane too, so everyone is stopped because this moron was too impatient, and almost turned the whole thing into a 3 car pile up. He was really lucky, and I was pretty lucky. The Cruiser may not be fast, but its definitely quick to stop, and very good in emergency maneuvers.
Of course, with traffic starting to catch up really quick in my lane behind me, I dropped to 1st and took off, giving the idiot a bit of smoke to look at in the rearview.
If it had been the LeSabre, even with suspension and brakes, the tires would have just not held me back enough to stop in time.
That was Wednesday night, so I'm gonna go with that, for my "What I'm thankful for" this year. It was a kind of a slap in the face wake up call, to remind me just how much difference tires make, and how important it is to drive defensively.