When roads are slick, it is highly probable you can run right off the road. Depending on how steep of an embankment or ditch you end up in, you might be able to get yourself out. Before attempting to get your car back on the road, call for help. (Be careful attempting these 10 tips, as you can endanger yourself to suffering from overexertion.) Try your insurance company, your local emergency crew or law enforcement, a friend or relative or even a tow truck. If you have someone coming for help, stay in your car and keep warm. Tie a brightly colored cloth, bandana or distress flag to your antenna so rescuers can see you. In an extreme circumstance, you can try to get your car back on the road. Follow these 10 tips:
- Do not over spin your tires. You will dig yourself a deeper hole.
- Shovel the snow out from around your tires and clear the exhaust pipe of any snow.
- Liberally apply sand, gravel or kitty litter in front, behind and around your tires.
- Keep your tires straight. Cocked wheels will not gain traction and will even dig your car deeper into the snow.
- If you have 2×6 wood planks, put them up against the rubber of your drive tires to try to get traction. Your car’s floor mats will also help in a pinch.
- Using a low gear, slowly apply the gas while slightly depressing the brake. This forces the tires to stop over spinning, giving you more torque to pull out.
- Letting a little air out of the tires may give you more traction.
- “Rock” the car by driving forward, then backwards, back and forth until you gain enough traction and movement to get back on the road.
- For a front wheel drive vehicle only, you may turn the wheels 45 degrees to each side a few times. However, this can lead to digging you in deeper, so be sure to accelerate slowly.
- Get someone to help push you out.
Before trying anything, you must not panic. Remember that over compensating your steering wheel and spinning you tires will get your car stuck even deeper. Remain calm and collected. If you cannot get out and help will not be able to come for a while, you will need to settle in. Come back tomorrow to learn how to stay warm, safe and hydrated while you wait out a winter storm in your car.
Do you have any other tips to getting a car back on the road? Share them with us in the comment section.