Tips for When Your Car is Stuck in the Snow

The front end of a black car stuck in snow with a person using a blue shovel to clear the snow in front of the tires.For many residents, a blizzard often isn’t an excuse to stay in. With many people working vital jobs, it’s important to know how to free your car from a mound of snow. Veteran drivers in the northern US likely know a thing or two about freeing their vehicle in winter, but for new drivers or those new to the wintery climate, it’s wise to brush up on the topic before it happens to you. As this is an all-too-common occurrence in New England, let’s go over some tips for when your car is stuck in the snow.

Helpful Tips Before It Snows

If you can anticipate your care getting stuck given a future forecast, taking a few proactive steps can help you out immensely. To prepare for a snowstorm and prevent your car from being trapped, try the following:

  • Install Snow Tires: If you’re fortunate enough to have a set of snow tires, you can install them before the storm to ensure you have the traction to drive yourself out of the snow.
  • Pack a Snow Shovel: Keep a snow shovel in your car. It’s a great addition to your winter safety kit, and it can help you out in a jam in case you become stuck away from home.
  • Attach Snow Chains: If you don’t have snow tires, snow chains can be an effective means of getting yourself unstuck. While these can be added after the snowfall, it’s far easier to put them on your tires beforehand.

Of course, you don’t always have the opportunity to prepare for the coming snow, which is why it’s important to familiarize yourself with some tricks.

Tips to Get Your Car Out of the Snow

Before hopping into the driver’s seat, there are a few steps you should take first. You’ll want to disable your traction control, as your vehicle may trigger the braking mechanism in the tires if the system senses no traction. You should also turn on your four-wheel drive if your car comes equipped with it. Finally, shovel the snow around your tires, clearing a few feet in front and behind to move the car back and forth. After these steps, you can try the following:

  • Rock Your Car: Straighten your tires and place your vehicle in the lowest gear. Slowly move forward and then slowly reverse when you can’t go further. Continue this trend to compact the snow and make it easier to get out. But be sure not to rev your engine.
  • Find Some Help: Ask for help pushing the car from neighbors or bystanders. Ensure you’re in the right gear, and then gently press the gas while they push. It also helps to ensure those pushing are not pressing against a delicate part of the car, such as the rear panel or window.
  • Add Traction: Lay down sand, salt, kitty litter, or cardboard in front of your tires. Do not use antifreeze to melt the snow, as it’s corrosive to metal and can damage your tires and undercarriage.

If all else fails and you’re not in a rush, you can let the air out of your tires to gain better traction. This is ideal for those who have a portable tires inflator.

It can be frustrating when your car is stuck in the snow, especially when you urgently need to be somewhere. With these tips, you should be able to get your car free and avoid any mishaps. However, you have to be mindful of the driving conditions after you free your car. Driving in the winter is extremely difficult, which is why you should ensure you have the right insurance to keep you protected. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents can pair you with the best auto insurance for your needs. If you want to invest in better protections for this winter, contact us today.