How to Get Your Stuck Car Out of Snow
Finding your car stuck in the snow can be a frustrating experience, but you can get it unstuck with a bit of work and ingenuity.
If your car is stuck in snow, it can be difficult for your tires to gain the traction they need to push the vehicle forward. As a result, your wheels spin while the car sits stuck in the snow.
Here are some top tips to get your car unstuck on your own:
Clear snow: Start by clearing as much snow as possible from around the tires, the front of the car, and the exhaust pipe. This can help create a path for the tires to move. If you have a shovel, dig out the snow from in front and behind the tires. Create a clear path for the tires to move.
Turn the wheels: Get back in the car and while gently pumping the gas, turn the steering wheel from side to side. This can help create a wider area for your tires to grip.
Use traction aids:
- Sand or kitty litter: If you have sand or kitty litter in your trunk, spread it around the tires. This can provide extra traction.
- Traction mats: Traction mats or old floor mats placed under the tires can also help provide traction on slippery surfaces.
- Branches from nearby trees. In a pinch, you might be able to find some branches or natural debris by the side of the road to help your tires get some traction. Wedge them under the tires and look out for anything that could puncture a tire.
Rock the car: Gently rock the car back and forth by shifting between drive and reverse. Use light and steady pressure on the gas pedal. This rocking motion may help the tires gain traction. Don’t hit the gas hard! Too much speed will actually dig your car in further. If you’re not getting anywhere, stop and try something else.
Get help: If possible, ask for help from someone with another vehicle. They may be able to help push your car, or you can try using a tow strap or chain to pull the car out.
Reduce tire pressure: If you're really, truly stuck in deep snow, reducing tire pressure slightly can increase the surface area of the tires in contact with the snow, providing better traction. You need to be careful, though, not to deflate the tires too much.
Turn off traction control:
- In some situations, turning off your vehicle's traction control system may be helpful. Consult your car's manual for instructions on how to do this.
If you have tried everything but are having no luck:
Call for professional help: If your efforts are unsuccessful, and conditions are severe, it may be best to call for a tow truck to help you out of the snow. It’s always a good idea to keep emergency supplies in your vehicle in case you need to wait a while for assistance in cold weather conditions.
How using winter tires helps:
Winter tires, also known as snow tires, are designed specifically to increase traction and grip in cold weather conditions, including snow and ice. They have deeper and more aggressive tread patterns with larger gaps that help channel away snow and slush. This design improves the tire's ability to grip the road surface.
Winter tires can contribute to shorter stopping distances on icy or snow-covered roads. The enhanced traction allows for more effective braking, reducing the risk of skidding or sliding.
Did you know that winter tires are mandatory for your car insurance in some provinces?
In some regions, Quebec in particular, using winter tires during specific months or in snowy or icy weather conditions is a legal requirement. Compliance with these regulations not only helps to ensures safety but also avoids potential fines or penalties.
Your insurance may not cover accidents or damages if your vehicle isn’t in compliance with all of the legal requirements in the province you’re exploring. Before making a claim or getting on the road, make sure you’re fully covered and ready to go!