Unless you’ve lived in a place where it snows a lot, many Atlanta drivers may not be familiar with the challenges of living in a city where heavy snowfall is a common occurrence. Knowing what to do if your car is stuck in the snow will help you get back on the road as quickly as possible.
What to do If Your Car is Stuck in the Snow
The first thing to remember when your car is stuck in the snow is to stay calm. Getting frustrated is a pretty normal reaction; we’re all used to being able to hop in the car and start driving without a second thought. Staying calm will help you think clearly so you can quickly get your car out of the snow. Here’s what to do if your car is stuck in the snow.
Dig out your car
If you have a snow shovel, it’s time to grab it out of your garage and get to work. Remove the snow from the area in front of the car leading to a part of the street that has been cleared.
If you’ll be traveling in snowy regions during the winter, consider keeping a small shovel in your vehicle so you can dig yourself out of any unexpected heavy snowfall.
Clear a path for the tires
This is definitely a case of ‘working smarter, not harder’. Unless the level of snow is higher than the vehicle’s clearance, you only technically need to shovel snow away from the tires and your intended path.
Make sure to clear ice away from the tires as well. In certain situations, ice can freeze tires to the ground and make getting out of a snow drift far more difficult.
Make sure the tailpipe is uncovered
While you’re digging your car out of the snow, it may be a good idea to start your car and let it warm up. Make sure your tailpipe is uncovered so that dangerous gases don’t build up in the cabin of the vehicle.
Turn off traction control
Traction control reduces the power to the wheel when the onboard computer detects slippage. In most situations, this feature can improve your overall safety by preventing the car from oversteering or going out of control. In snow, on the other hand, you’ll usually need that extra boost to get out of a snow drift.
At the same time, it’s important to be aware of how much your tires are spinning. While it’s tempting to gun the engine and apply maximum power to the problem, you could actually dig yourself in further.
Try the ‘rocking’ technique
This technique involves shifting your car between drive and reverse to gain momentum so you can get your car moving. Turning off traction control will generally help. If you have a friend or neighbor handy, they can help push as well – but be careful!
- First, put your car into drive and go as far forward as you are able
- Then, quickly put your car into reverse and go back as far as you can
- Return your car to drive and move forward again
- Repeat these steps until you are able to drive out of the snow
Create traction for the tires
If you’re having a really difficult time getting your car out of the snow, consider sprinkling an abrasive substance like cat litter, sand, salt, or gravel in front of the tires. If ice has accumulated on your car or tires, you could even sprinkle broken up ice to improve traction for your tires.
Visit T3 Atlanta to Winterize Your Vehicle
If you haven’t winterized your vehicle yet, it’s not too late! Winter in Atlanta is usually coldest between January and March, so getting your car winterized before then will help keep you from getting stranded in the cold.