Despite your best efforts: proper preparations and cautious driving, accidents are bound to happen—especially on snowy roadways. Even at slow driving speeds, ice and snow can easily cause your vehicle to go careening into a ditch, tree, or other vehicle—and that can leave you stranded for hours as you wait for a tow truck to come and save you.
Although it is impossible to prevent your car from being stuck in the snow, you may be able to unstick your vehicle yourself with these three tips:
1. Visually Inspect the Tailpipe
Perhaps the most dangerous part of becoming trapped by the snow is snow buildup. If the snow builds up and covers the tailpipe of your vehicle, the carbon monoxide cannot escape—and therefore, it will back up into your car. Carbon monoxide is dangerous because it can poison you and cause a wide variety of problems, including death.
If you are stuck in the snow, get out of your car and visually inspect the tailpipe. Make sure that there is nothing blocking it. If there is snow blocking your tailpipe, turn your vehicle off, and dig the snow out so that the tailpipe is clear. Once clear, you can turn your car back on.
2. Add Traction
The major problem with snow and ice is traction—there usually isn't much, if any. If you are stuck, add some traction to help you get out of the snow bank. Rock salt or kitty litter both work well. Simply apply the salt or kitty litter in front of all of your tires and try to drive out of the snow.
If you do not have salt or kitty litter with you, you can use your floor mats. Just place them in front of your front tires and drive. However, be warned that this will probably ruin your floor mats.
You can also let some air out of your tires to help with traction. The flatter surface will grip what little traction there is better, which will make maneuvering out of the snow easier. Just be sure that you properly inflate your tires as soon as possible to avoid damaging the tires.
3. Remove Snow and Ice
If you will be waiting for a friend or tow truck to help you out, you can make it a lot easier on them by removing some of the snow. Use a shovel and remove any deep snow around your vehicle. If you do not have a shovel on hand, wear gloves and use your hands and arms to remove the snow.
You can also use a deicer, such as rock salt, to help remove excess snow and ice surrounding your car—if you have some in your vehicle.
While you cannot avoid an accident altogether, you can get out of one easier by following these three tips. If all else fails, contact a towing service, such as AC Towing, immediately to ensure you get out of the snow quickly.