What to Do if Your Car Gets Stuck in the Snow

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 30, 2021. It has 0 comments.

a car stuck in the snow

The snow looks beautiful coming down. Snow days might be a nice break from a regular work day. But having to get your car unstuck is never any fun.

Here’s what you need to do when it happens to you.

Create as Much Traction as Possible

Traction is the amount of grip your tires have on the road. When you’re stuck in the snow, you need as much as possible to get yourself unstuck. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Turn off traction control in your car, if that’s a feature. You need both drive tires to have traction to get unstuck and traction control can prevent that.
  • Straighten your wheels. This puts more surface area on the ground which gives you more traction.
  • Put your vehicle in a lower gear rather than standard drive. This can create more traction for your tires.
  • Throw sand, salt, or cat litter under the tires to create texture for your wheels to grip to.

Clear the Snow

In order to move your vehicle, you’re going to need to clear the snow away. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Dig out a path around your tires. You need to give your tires space to move and find traction with the ground.
  • Make sure your tailpipe is clear of snow. A blocked tailpipe can allow toxic gases to flow back into your car, making the situation even more dangerous.
  • Gently and slowly switch gears from drive to reverse a few times. Doing this slowly and cautiously should knock snow off your vehicle.
  • Turn your wheel from side to side. This motion will also help remove snow from your car.

Getting Unstuck

Okay, you have traction, and as much snow as possible has been moved. It’s time to get your car unstuck.

  • Be easy on the gas pedal. This isn’t a time to floor it. Momentum is what gets you unstuck, not extra power.
  • If that doesn’t work, try tapping the brakes and the gas pedal at the same time. This can transfer power to a wheel that’s spinning. Don’t do this for more than a few seconds as it can overheat your brakes.
  • Apply snow chains if you’re still not moving forward.
  • When in doubt, call roadside assistance. If you have full auto insurance coverage, it’s often an add-on option at an extremely affordable price.

Preparing for Snow

You can’t guarantee your car will never get stuck in snow, even with the best preparation. But you can make sure you’re ready for it ahead of time.

  • Install snow tires.
  • Keep a snow shovel in your trunk.
  • Buy salt, sand, or cat litter and keep it in your trunk.
  • Invest in snow chains – just in case.
  • Add roadside assistance to your auto insurance so you can always call for help.

Despite your best efforts, you may find yourself stuck in the snow with no way out. Make sure you have roadside assistance as part of your full coverage auto insurance. Contact Charlotte Insurance today to make sure you’re covered.


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