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Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a big pile of snow is not something new for people living in the northern areas of Pakistan or anywhere else where it snows in the country. There are times when the drivers are smart enough to manage such situations on their own and handle everything quite tactfully, while sometimes, they need to list the help of fellow drivers. However, not everyone is lucky enough to get immediate help or smart enough to brave the challenge on their own. So, we have a compiled set of intelligent techniques that you can employ when your car gets stuck in the snow and free it without losing your cool!
We had, previously, discussed some useful tips for driving safely in the snow, and building on it, here’s our take on how to free your car when it’s snowed in.
Steps to Follow When Your Car Gets Stuck in Snow
First things first; remember that there is always a way out. So, if you ever find yourself or someone else on the road stuck in the snow, keep yourself composed and calm, and follow these simple steps to overcome the snowy conundrum:
Clear the Path around the Tyres
This is the first and most obvious step in getting your car free from snow. There’s no hard rule or set method. The goal is to remove the snow surrounding the tyres of your vehicle and free them. Make sure to remove the snow stuck within the cavities of the tyre treads. Next, you would also need to create a few feet of space at the front and back of your car to make sure it can move freely.
Once you have made sure there’s no snow to interrupt your path, move on to the next step.
Clear Snow from Your Car
The next step in getting your car unstuck is to rock your car. But how would you do that? Well, it is quite simple; just remember these three steps: “drive, reverse, and repeat”. Always remember to avoid wrecking your transmission while you’re doing this. Be extremely careful when you put your feet on the brake. You can also try to shift to neutral for a second just before switching gears.
Avoid Flooring the Gas Pedal
We’ve heard it from several experts who said, “It’s the momentum that sets you free, not power” – which means that you should always avoid flooring the gas pedal*, no matter how tempted you’re to do so. Keep a cool head and go easy on the pedal to give your vehicle a little gas for a moment, then gradually let off. This need to be done to enhance the “rocking motion”, so keep repeating this step over and over until you’re good to go.
*Flooring the gas pedal is when you put your car in the drive for an automatic transmission. You take your foot completely off the “brake pedal” and apply pressure on the gas pedal to the point where it touches the floor of your car.
Add Some Traction Under the Wheels
You hopefully wouldn’t need to get to this step, however, if you still cannot get your car free from the snow, you can try to get more traction under your wheels. To begin with, you will need to turn off the traction control feature of your car to have full control of the vehicle. However, this should only be done when you are stuck in snow since traction control is used to prevent your tyres from spinning. So, always keep the feature on while you’re driving during snowfall.
On the other hand, if you are ever stuck in the snow, it is good to turn it off to have more control over how your tyres spin.
Don’t Refuse a Helping Hand
It is wise not to drive alone during snowfall. Always keep a family member or carpool with a few people from work. Having people in your car who can help you push the car out of the snow is nothing short of a blessing during a blizzard. Also, take help from friendly onlookers on the road, or call someone for help.
Remember, when people are pushing your car, all you have to do is gently press the gas pedal for additional momentum. You have to make sure that you and the passengers in your car are completely safe, so check for a few things. First of all, check that your vehicle is not in the forward gear. Secondly, make sure that the ground isn’t slippery, so the people pushing the car do not get hurt either.
No matter what you do, always keep a cool head and think thoroughly. We understand that your vehicle is one of your most prized assets, but it shouldn’t lead you to do things that are harmful to you or hurt the people travelling with you. You can always lock your car and leave the scene if everything else fails. Getting professional help is your best bet during such worst-case scenarios.
We understand that driving in the snow sounds like a thrilling experience, but it is equally risky. Try to avoid getting out in snowfall or when your local weather forecast issues a warning about a snowstorm. Opt to work from home if you have something urgent needing your attention.
This brings us to the end of our post about how to get your car free from snow. You can send us your suggestions at email@example.com if we have missed anything. Make sure you have read our guide to riding a bike safely in the rain.