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What to do if You Get Stuck in Snow

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Baby, it’s cold outside…  and it can be slushy and slippery, too.  Winter can be a beautiful time of year, but if you find yourself stuck in the snow on the way to work or before you even get out of your own driveway, it can also be downright frustrating.

Hopefully, you read last week’s tips on how to drive in a snowstorm. That post was aimed at helping you avoid getting stuck in the first place. But if you do happen to find yourself literally “spinning your wheels” on the side of a snowy road, here are some tips to help you get back on the road:

  1. Carry kitty litter or sand in the trunk and pour some around your tires to create traction.
  2. Don’t accelerate quickly; spinning your wheels will actually dig you in deeper.
  3. Put the car in reverse and then back into drive to gently rock the car back and forth, accelerating slowly. When in drive, put the transmission in a lower gear.
  4. Carry a shovel with you; you may need it to clear snow from around the tires and from under the car.
  5. Keep your wheels straight ahead. This is crucial. Turning your wheels to one side will make it nearly impossible to get out.
  6. Always have your cell phone with you, as well as emergency contact numbers.
  7. Enroll in AAA. Believe me, it is worth it.

Of course, I highly recommend that you try to avoid getting stuck in the first place and that you also be prepared for the instances when it can’t be helped.  (The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends some actions you can take to do both in their article, “Checklist and Tips for Safe Winter Driving.”)

But if despite your best intentions, you do get stuck in the snow, I hope you’ll use my tips above to help you.

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