AWD admittedly does nothing to help you to stop.
However, those who believe that it does not help with traction on turns are wrong.
Ask yourself this question:
If AWD is only about starting traction, why do some of the highest performance cars in the world (the Bugatti Veyron and some Lamborghinis come to mind, but there are others) come equipped with AWD?
The answer is that AWD can drastically reduce oversteer on turns. Watch the videos of AWD performance cars on the handling circuit on the Top Gear TV program, and you will see how the AWD performance cars manage to make it around the turns at very high speed without their rear end “hanging out”.
Now, apply this same principle to driving a car or SUV on a very slippery surface at lower speeds. The effect is similar.
The SUVs and other AWD vehicles that you see in ditches are there because their drivers thought that AWD make them invincible, and unfortunately, you just “can’t fix stupid”. All vehicles have their limits, which must be respected, but an AWD vehicle will have a higher limit on slippery curves than a non-AWD vehicle. It just amounts to knowing what your limitations are, and driving accordingly.
Personally, I like the combination of AWD and a set of 4 Michelin X-Ice tires. With that combo, I have never lost traction, even on the rural roads in my area which are sometimes not plowed or salted as promptly as they should be. At this point, I have driven for 41 years and well over 500k miles without an accident, so I must know something about safe operation of a vehicle.