Winter Driving Tips: What To Do If You’re Stuck in Bad Weather

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No one wants to think about the nightmare scenario of getting stuck in inclement weather while driving in the winter. However, it can happen to anyone!

You’re driving along, minding your own business, when you hit a patch of black ice. The next thing you know, you’re sliding off the road and caught in a snowbank far from civilization. 

What can you do in this scenario? You can be prepared before disaster ever strikes. Here are the ways you can prepare in case you get stranded in your car in winter.

Stock Up

Before you go anywhere in winter, make sure you have all of the essential supplies you need in your car. That includes basics like water, non-perishable food items, blankets, heavy clothes, and an emergency roadside kit.

Your emergency roadside kit should include a reflective traffic cone, a flashlight, flares, jumper cables, and the tools you need to work on your car’s engine. Make sure you also store a spare tire, jack, and tire iron in your vehicle in case you pop a flat in a remote region.

Getting Out of Snow

Keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your car to help give your tires enough traction to get out of a snowbank. This can save you from a rough situation and keep you from calling a tow truck.

Make sure you drive carefully on snowy roads, as the lack of traction makes it easy to slide off the side. Don’t accelerate too much when you’re pulling yourself free from a snowy area. If you push the accelerator too hard, you might overshoot the road and land in a ditch. Remain calm and focus on getting back to the street.

Stuck for a Long Period

If you find yourself stuck in your vehicle for a long period while you’re waiting for a tow truck, layer up and try to keep the car door shut until you need to get out.

Don’t run your heater on full blast. Conserve energy by setting it to a low, but warm, temperature and keep the fans low. This will give you enough warmth to stay comfortable without burning through your car’s energy too swiftly.

If you have traffic cones or emergency flares in your roadside kit, use them when you find yourself trapped in a remote region without any cell phone service. Fire flares at regular intervals to increase the chance that the authorities see them.