What to do if your car gets stuck in snow

Date posted: March 25, 2013

We’re sure many of you are sick of the sight of snow now (as are we!) and have perhaps struggled on the icy roads and snow-covered side streets over the weekend.

As the snow continues to linger, so does the chances of getting your vehicle stuck in the snow. We’ve put together some top tips on what to do if your car veers off or you get stuck in a snow jam.

Preparation is key – pack a shovel!

Before you set off, make sure you’ve packed some essentials in case you happen to get stuck; blankets (for passengers), a torch and a shovel (for snow) should be packed, in addition to your other breakdown essentials.

Make sure that you’re confident and prepared enough for driving in the snow. If you’re completely new to driving in such conditions, you should get up to scratch on the on the basics for driving in snow.

Getting stuck in snow

If your car’s developed a mind of it’s own and veered off in a random direction, here’s what to do:

  • Dig away excessive snow. If your car has veered off and you’re struggling to get going again, a build up of snow around the vehicle is probably preventing you from moving forwards, which means you’ll need to dig out the excess snow. Before exiting the vehicle, make sure that it’s safe to get out and that you’re visible to other motorists. Dig out the excess snow with a shovel (or if you don’t have one, you can improvise; use a trowel or flat implement to discard the snow from around your tires). Remove loose snow in the direction the car is to move, in addition to packed snow that the car may struggle to ride over.
  • Clear the pipe. Make sure the area around the tailpipe is completely clear of snow and that the pipe itself isn’t clogged with snow and ice.
  • Ride the brakes. Usually, one wheel will be spinning more than the other because it has less resistance. Pressing the brakes slightly will decrease the spinning and transfer some power to the other wheel, which will in turn get both wheels working to pull you out of the snow. If you feel you aren’t making any progress then stop; you don’t want the brakes to overheat.
  • Straighten the wheels. Turn the steering wheel to straight the front wheels as much as possible.
  • Switch to a low gear to pull out. Gently accelerate until the wheels start to slip, then reverse until the wheels start to slip; do this continuously until you feel you have enough room to pull out, but this should be a last resort.

Winter breakdowns

As expected, car breakdowns are incredibly common in winter. If you don’t currently have car breakdown cover and happen to need assistance on your travels, you could find yourself forking out a lot of money at the roadside. In order to avoid hefty towing and maintenance costs, why not take out breakdown cover from Rescuemycar from as little as £17.90?

Find out more about our car breakdown cover today!

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