What to do when you’re stuck in a snowbound car
With the cold weather breaking records this year and a white blanket covering many parts of the country, it becomes essential to know what to do when you are stuck in snow and cold weather inside your car. Honestly the best thing in such weather is to stay at home and avoid traveling, but that is not always possible. Keep these things in mind to help you stay warm and safe.
Avoid sleeping in your car when you are stuck in a snowstorm, especially with the engine running. Performance of your car’s battery reduces by up to 50% in the snow. Its safer to stay inside the car rather than going out to find help. The danger of getting hypothermia increases if you go out in the snow. Turn the engine off and on every 20 minutes to keep your car warm and increase the life of your battery.
Check your tailpipe every hour. If snow enters the tailpipe carbon monoxide fumes cannot escape outside and the deadly gas will release inside. Try to conserve body heat, if you have a blanket in your car wrap yourself in it (keep a blanket in your car!). If you can’t find a blanket, close your coat fully. Try to stay as warm as possible. Its also important to stay hydrated so keep sipping water at regular intervals. Drink small quantities rather than large ones.
Its important to stay connected to the rest of the world. If you have your cell phone with you, and you should, don’t play games on it to pass the time. You don’t want to make the situation worse with a dead battery. Save the battery as you might need it later.
Keep your body moving. Clap your hands, snap your fingers, and stretch your leg muscles. Do this at least once every hour. Keeping the body parts moving maintains blood flow which helps keep you warm.
When you’re able to move your car go easy on the gas. Drive in low gear if there is snow on the road. Tap on the brakes slowly when you need them, slamming them may spin your car out of control. Watch for black ice on bridges and the overpass. Some obstacles that can block your way are fallen trees, power lines, and other cars, so watch out for them.
For more information on what to carry in your car during storms please refer to our article “15 things You Must Have in Your Car”