Learning to avoid, escape, and handle being stuck in a snowdrift – as well as how to drive in other dangerous conditions like when black ice might be present– makes you a better driver when faced with tough Indiana winters.
How to Avoid Getting Stuck in a Snowdrift
To avoid getting struck in a snowdrift, consider the following tips:
- Use snow tires. A lot of people dread changing over to snow tires, but permanent snow tires will make the change over much easier, notes. That said, snow tires cost a good amount of money so if buying four is out of the question, buy two for the wheels that the engine drives. (Note: all-wheel drives really need four snow tires.)
- Don’t use cruise control when driving on ice or snow
- Drive safely. Give yourself time to react. Keep a safe distance between you and other cars. Drive an appropriate speed for conditions. Overall, be more vigilant than ever when driving in dangerous weather.
- Keep steady pressure on anti-lock brakes if you start to skid. Otherwise, pump the brakes gently.
How to Get Your Car Out of a Snow Drift
The following is a general step-by-step guide to getting your car out of a snow drift:
- Travel with a bag of kitty litter, rock salt, or sand, plus a shovel
- Sprinkle the kitty litter, rock salt, or sand in front of and behind the wheels
- Shovel a path for the wheel and sprinkle it as well
- Clean the snow from the grille or risk overheating the car while driving
- Slowly press on the accelerator to allow the tires to gain traction
- Don’t switch the car too quickly in between forward and reverse because doing so can hurt the transmission
- Use a low gear
- Use light pressure on the gas
How to Handle Being Stuck in a Snow Drift
Some drivers, despite their best efforts, cannot avoid getting stuck or are unable to escape a snowdrift. If that’s the case, be sure to stay safe. Keep blankets, non-perishable food, and water in the car, along with other important items you may include in a car emergency kit.
Also, don’t leave your car running, though you may turn it on to charge your phone. You can also turn it on for a few minutes every fifteen minutes to stay warm. Otherwise, turn off the engine to save gas.
Another necessary precaution is to check the tail pipe to make sure snow is not piling up and putting you in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Do this regularly.
And finally, stay put. No matter how tempting it is to walk, don’t do it unless you can see a gas station or other business just a few minutes away. Getting lost in the cold without shelter can put you in an even more precarious situation.
Learning how to handle snowdrifts is an important Indiana driving skill. If a negligent driver causes a car accident while driving in extreme weather like snow in Indiana, call Hensley Legal Group today or contact us online to set up a consultation.