- 13 February 2023
Here are 4 tips to help you get back on solid ground!Snowstorms, cold weather, freezing rain, record-breaking temperatures… every winter seems to be harsher than the previous one, and fill our heads with visions of sandy beaches and palm trees! Reality quickly hits us though, especially when our vehicle gets stuck in the snow.
No one would be surprised to hear that winter is an “accident-prone” time of year. According to the Groupement des assureurs automobiles, a Québec organization comprised of automobile insurers, insurance claims are around 50% higher during the winter months than during other periods of the year, primarily due to slippery roads, limited visibility, cold temperatures and fewer daylight hours.
Generally speaking, having a well-equipped vehicle and adapting one’s driving to winter’s harsher conditions is generally sufficient to prevent the vast majority of accidents or incidents. That being said, there are always those unforeseeable skids or snowbanks that create a problem.
Here are a few tricks to help you get your vehicle out of the snow:
- It’s a lot easier to shovel a bit of snow beforehand than mountains of it afterwards! Before attempting to get your vehicle free, try shoveling some of the snow away from your wheels and clear the path you’ll be attempting to “drive” through. This will prevent the snow from becoming compacted under the vehicle and pushing up your wheels when you try and drive out, a scenario that would call for significantly more shoveling to get yourself out of this particular pickle!
Use abrasives when your vehicle needs just a little “nudge”. The more your wheels spin as you try and get unstuck, the more ice will form on the surface, leaving you in yet more of a bind. Try spreading gravel, sand or salt (even cat litter will do!) around the wheels that have been spinning to help them gain traction.
Also, no need to spread abrasives over the entire snowbank; these products are only effective on surfaces that are hard enough to ensure they remain at the surface.
- Use traction aids. Traction aids are plates or other devices that can be placed in front or behind your vehicle’s wheels to hopefully give you the extra little push you need to conquer the snow and ice keeping you trapped.
- Go forward, Backward! The technique consisting of going backward and forward requires that you move your vehicle forward slowly, until the wheels begin to spin, at which point you must immediately back up as far as possible. You must repeat this sequence of events until you’re able to go further in both directions; this is what will eventually give you the “swing” you need to free yourself!
When snowbound, one of the mistakes most people make is to let their wheels spin for too long: in fact, once they sense a bit of movement, they tend to press down hard on the accelerator, which causes ice to form under the wheels or the vehicle to sink even deeper in the snow. Harmful rather than helpful!
Other blog articles that may interest youWHAT TO DO IF YOU HIT AN ANIMAL
AN ACCIDENT, A BREAKDOWN... HOW TO COPE WITH THE UNEXPECTED!
WHY AM I SO NERVOUS WHEN I GET BEHIND THE WHEEL?
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