What to Do When Stuck in Winter Weather

Posted on: January 14th, 2020 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

stuck in winter drivingIf there’s one thing Coloradans know best, it’s how quickly the weather can change from manageable to impassable. Especially in the winter, roads can go from dry and clear to shut down in a matter of hours. While it’s always best to avoid travel if that kind of storm is a possibility, we all know that sometimes it’s impossible to predict when a winter storm will hit. Even more, sometimes it’s impossible to avoid the need to travel. But what should you do if you get stuck in the middle of a storm in your vehicle? Here are a few things to accomplish as soon as possible.

Alert Authorities

If you have service and any battery on your cell phone (if you have a charger in your vehicle, we highly recommend keeping a high charge all winter long), call and alert the authorities. Chances are in the kind of weather that gets you stuck, you’re probably not the only one. This may mean that they can’t reach you for a while, but letting them know where you are and that you’re stuck is a huge, important first step to getting unstuck before things get dire.

Bust out the Emergency Kit

We’ve written about creating emergency kits before, so be sure to read that if you’re looking for advice on what to include in your kit. At this point, the kit should be prepped and in your vehicle, ready for a worst-case scenario like this. If you packed a shovel in your kit, you may be able to spend some time trying to dig yourself out, to see if you can gain any traction and get yourself out of the situation. If you are going to try to dig yourself out, ensure you’re in a safe position to do so. Otherwise, it’s time to dig into those blankets, sweatshirts, and other layers you packed.

Conserve Energy

Conserving energy is key if you’re unsure of how long you’ll be stuck. We’re talking energy of all sorts. Energy in your phone, your own personal energy, the energy in your vehicle. All of it. Use it sparingly and wisely. If you can, utilize the sun to warm your vehicle so you can keep the engine running only at a bare minimum (to avoid freezing in the fuel line or engine) until the sun sets and you’re dealing with colder nighttime temperatures.

Stay Put

We know it’s tempting to leave your vehicle and try to seek help or shelter, but there’s no way of knowing how treacherous the conditions are or how far exactly you are from reaching anything or anyone who might be of assistance. It may feel a little scarier, but we recommend staying put. Stay with your car, stay in your car as much as you can. This will make it easier for authorities to find you, and it will ensure you don’t wind up more lost or more stuck than you already are.

On the bright side, weather in Colorado tends to clear out as quickly as it comes in, making it often a shorter span of time between getting stranded and getting rescued than might be the case in other areas. That being said, it’s important to take being stranded in a winter storm seriously, and do your best to stay in control of what you can. Conserve your energy, ration out your food, stay warm, and keep your vehicle in working order, and hopefully you’ll be out of the uncomfortable position in no time.

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