Although it’s generally considered not to venture out in the car when it’s snowing outside, life happens and sometimes you have no choice. Driving in the snow always carries the risk of getting stuck in the snow. Whether you’re away from home when it begins snowing and you find your car buried, or you veer off the road and into deep snow, you will either need to dig yourself out or be towed out. The trouble is that during adverse weather it could be a long time before someone comes to help you, so it’s better to get out of the situation on your own.
Before the snowy weather even gets here, it is highly advisable to make sure that there is some form of shovel in your car. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a purpose built snow shovel (although this is the optimum solution). But having something to dig yourself out of the snow with is far better than having nothing at all. A bag of rock salt, grit, gravel or even cat litter would also be very useful.
If you find yourself stuck in snow, the key is not to panic. It’s easy to get out of snow (although some manual labour will be required). You just need to follow these steps:
Dig out your car
Before attempting to drive out of the snow, you need to dig your car out. Clear away any snow on the ground that surrounds the car. Try to dig enough snow away that you can see all of the tyres., and dig a small area either side of all of the tyres. Be aware of any ice that may be around.
Check the exhaust before you start the engine
Once you’ve dug around the car, make sure that there is no snow blocking your exhaust pipe. Remove any snow around it as well as any that may have got inside the pipe itself. This is an important step as the poisonous gasses within the exhaust system could build up inside the car if the pipe is not cleared.
Put something around the tyres to add traction
Hopefully you will have access to some gravel or salt, which you can pour in front, behind and on the sides of your tyres. This will add traction and stop your wheels from spinning once you begin to pull away. If you’re in a pinch and have nothing that will add traction, then your car’s mats may be able to help in an emergency situation.
If this still doesn’t work, then try something solid like some plywood, sheet metal or anything else that you can find. Even a few tree branches places width ways in front of your tyres could be enough to get that much-needed traction to get you out of there.
Once you’re set up, start the car and pull away slowly. Avoid spinning the weels as this will just make the ground even more slippery, and therefore much harder to get away.