What to do if you get stuck in a blizzard

Trapped Snow

A blizzard is the worst weather a driver will ever encounter. If you become stuck in deep snow or caught in a blizzard while driving, the following precautions should help you stay safe until conditions improve or emergency help arrives.

Once stuck in deep snow, do not rev the engine and spin the wheels. This will cause the wheels to dig deeper into the snow. If you can, dig the snow away from the driven wheels (at the front on most cars). Then put the car into as high a gear as possible (usually second or third for a manual; some automatic gearboxes have a winter operating mode which will pull away in second gear) and slowly edge forwards and backwards in an attempt to creep out of the snow.

If you’re stuck fast, stay in the car, unless help is visible within 100 metres. Keep warm by running the engine and heater every 10 minutes. Ensure the exhaust pipe is clear of snow or you could be at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning, and open a downwind window for ventilation.

Keep moving to maintain body circulation and put on as many clothes as you can. Avoid over-exertion as cold weather puts added strain on the heart. Shovelling snow or pushing a car in deep snow should be avoided.

Alert friends, family or colleagues to your situation and location. If conditions don’t improve, call either your breakdown provider or the emergency services and wait to be rescued.

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