Wintry conditions can make Utah roads very treacherous. Salt Lake City receives an average of 47 inches of snowfall each year, according to the U.S. government climate data center. It is important to slow down when driving during winter weather conditions. If your vehicle is equipped with winter tires, then it should have better traction on slick roads. The rubber in winter tires is designed to remain flexible in cold temperatures, which improves the tires’ grip. Of course, you can have your car well prepared and drive cautiously and still slide off the road.
Getting stuck in the snow is an issue that many Utah drivers have faced at some point. To assist drivers whose car is stuck in the snow, our firm has provided six tips for getting it out.
How to Get Your Car Unstuck in the Snow
- Remain Calm
If your vehicle gets stuck in the snow, you need to remain calm. Panicking will only make things worse. You need to relax and think clearly so that you can assess the situation and determine how to get your vehicle out in a safe manner.
- Do Not Spin the Tires
When a car is stuck in the snow, the tires may lose traction. If your tires are spinning, take your foot off of the gas pedal. Spinning tires will only dig deeper into the snow. You will not be able to drive your car out until you can get more traction. Try releasing some air from the rear tires to increase the amount of tire in contact with the road surface. Deflating your tires slightly may provide the traction you need to get unstuck. Remember to re-inflate your tires to the specified pressure as soon as possible.
- Put the Vehicle in Low Gear
A method to increase traction is to put the vehicle in the lowest gear possible. If your vehicle has a winter mode, use that gear setting. Even if your car has an automatic transmission, there will typically be a ‘low gear’ available. Shift your car into low gear, make sure the tires are pointed straight ahead and press gently on the gas pedal to try to move it out of the snow. Resist the urge to slam on the gas pedal. Pressing the gas pedal too quickly or too strongly will only spin your tires again and send you back deeper into the snow.
- Slowly Rock Your Car Back and Forth
Another method that can be used to gain traction is slowly rocking your car back and forth. This is done by putting the car into drive, pushing the gas pedal lightly and then shifting the car into reverse and doing the same thing. A slow rocking motion can often allow your car to gain just enough momentum and traction to get itself out of the snow.
- Find an Outside Source of Traction
When rocking does not work, you may have to find another way to increase the traction. Sometimes this can be done by digging and removing the snow from around the tires. You may need to supply traction from an outside source. Some examples of products that can be used to increase traction are sand, gravel, kitty litter and wood chips. It is good idea to carry a bag of cat litter or sand in the trunk of your car during the winter to spread under your tires if you get stuck.
- Get Help
Keep in mind that it is not always possible to get your car out of the snow on your own. If you are stuck, you may need to call for help. You do not want to risk an injury of any kind. If you cannot get your car out, please call a friend or a roadside assistance company. Wait in the vehicle until help arrives. Check to make sure your car’s exhaust pipe is free of snow to prevent carbon monoxide from backing up into the passenger compartment. Towing your car out might be the only way to get it unstuck.
Were You Injured in a Winter Weather Accident?
Even when you drive cautiously, you cannot prevent other drivers from driving carelessly and causing crashes on snow covered roads. The experienced Utah personal injury lawyers at the Kramer Law Group are ready to help if you have been injured in a crash caused by another driver. To request a free review of your case, please contact our West Jordan office today. Our team serves victims throughout the state, including Park City, Provo, Sandy and Ogden.