How to Handle Being Stuck in Winter Weather

Posted on: January 18th, 2018 by Accurate Auto Body Denver No Comments

Tips for Stuck Car in Winter Tips for Stuck Car in Winter

Winter weather comes with a set of dangers that you don’t experience any other time of the year. With snow, cold temperatures, ice and more, there are risks you take when driving in winter weather that can sometimes leave you stuck. If you find yourself stuck in the dead of winter in the middle of a storm, don’t panic. Keep these things in mind and give yourself the best chance of getting out of the situation (relatively) unscathed.

Emergency Kit

This is a preparatory step that we recommend every single car owner takes well before winter weather gets wild (and keeping it in your car year-round can only benefit you, too). Put together a comprehensive emergency kit and store it in your trunk or the backseat of your car. What you might need will vary a little, but make sure you include a shovel, protein-rich food, water, blankets, batteries, flashlights, flares, blankets, extra layers of clothing, and anything else you can think of that you might truly need. Having all these things in your vehicle at all times means you’ll be as prepared as possible for being stuck for a while.

Assess the Situation

As soon as you realize you’re stuck, you need to suss out what’s going on. Get out of the car and determine where you are. Are you in an area near other buildings or a town within reasonable walking distance so you can go get help and/or shelter? Are there other cars stranded near you? Take stock of what’s happening and what your options may be. If you have service, use your phone (or the radio) to help you determine whether you should wait out the storm or try and find shelter. If you have service, call friends and family to let them know where you are and what’s going on.

Keep Your Exhaust Pipe Clear

This is where the shovel will come in handy. Not only do you have the option of digging yourself out of the situation if that’s a feasible option (and determining this should absolutely be part of the situation assessment), but you can ensure your exhaust pipe is clear. This is a necessity if you’re stuck and running your engine intermittently to keep you warm. A clogged pipe means you are susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, which is lethal.

Make Yourself Visible

Flares and reflective markers are helpful here. However, you can make yourself more visible to workers or other cars passing, do it. The only thing we recommend against is flashing your brights. This might make you temporarily more visible, but it is also putting other drivers at risk. Brights are blinding in winter weather conditions, so it’s not your best option for safely getting the attention of someone who can help you out.

Keeping a cool head and being prepared are the keys to surviving being stuck in winter weather conditions. Having supplies makes a world of difference, and being able to objectively (not in a panic) analyze what the best course of action is to keep yourself and whoever else might be in your vehicle with you safe and sound. What are your best winter weather survival tips?

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