Colder weather often leads to plenty of snow and vehicles stranded in it. If this happens to you, here are a few handy tips to help free your vehicle so you can get back to driving again.
Clear Snow Away From Tires
Clear the snow away for at least a few feet both in front of and behind your tires. If your vehicle is sitting on a mound of snow, also clear it away from under the frame and directly in front of your bumpers.
It makes sense to keep a foldable snow shovel in your trunk as well as warm clothes, a flashlight, and flares.
Make Yourself Visible
Rhode Islanders are pretty good about helping others when they get stuck. However, they need to be able to see you.
If you don’t have flares, switch on your hazard lights so others can see you. A bit of a push from a passerby could be all you need.
Turn Off Traction Control
Turn off your vehicle’s traction control before you try to get it out. It’s great for icy roads as it prevents your wheels from spinning when your car doesn’t have something to grab onto. However, you want traction when you’re in the snow.
Try to “Rock” It Out
We’re not suggesting you should put on your favorite tune and hope that someone will save you. Instead, drive forward and then backwards to create a rocking motion.
Continue this movement and hopefully the momentum will help your vehicle climb the snow that is holding you back. If you’re driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, brake at the peak of each rock so you can change gears safely.
Tread Lightly on the Gas Pedal
Instinctually, you may want to floor the gas in hopes of getting unstuck. However, this can cause your ties to spin which can create a rut and create ice.
Accelerate slowly and use the rocking motion mentioned above instead.
Add Some Traction
If rocking doesn’t free you, try throwing dirt, gravel, salt, or sand under the tires. A few relatively flat branches could also do the trick. Any of these could provide that added traction you need to get you out of the snow.
Deflate Your Tires
You shouldn’t do this if your miles away from a service station. It could damage your tires. However, if civilization is fairly close, deflating your tires until they’re visibly lower could help.
When you reduce tire pressure, more of the rubber contacts the ground. Consequently, you’ll have more traction.
Put on Snow Chains
If you live in a remote area that’s prone to snow or notoriously slippery in the winter, you should carry snow chains. They aren’t expensive, they’re pretty easy to put on, and they almost always get you unstuck.
If all else fails and you have roadside assistance on your auto insurance policy, give them a call. They can help you get out, jump start your vehicle, or even fill your empty gas tank. Many people have this insurance perk and don’t even realize it. Wondering if your policy includes roadside assistance? Give us a call! We’ll review your policy with you.