Imagine for a moment, you’re stranded in your car in the winter and the snow is piling up. There could be many causes. There are things you could have done to prevent getting stranded, but you don’t have time to dwell on those. You have to stay warm and wait it out. What should you do?
Make sure the exterior exhaust of the car is clear of snow. If the exhaust gets plugged up, carbon monoxide can build up. It’s odorless, colorless and tasteless. It could kill you if you are exposed to it for too long. Keep that exhaust clear.
If there is shelter nearby, go there. However, if there is nothing around, the best thing to do is stay put to avoid getting lost. If it’s night time, not only can you not see, but it’s also colder which makes it even riskier to go on foot. While you are in your car, it’s good to have some blankets with you and and possibly put on some extra clothes. You need to save gas, so only turn on the car to heat it up and then turn it off. You don’t know how long you will be there.
Make sure you have water around to keep yourself hydrated. If water is not available, you can get some snow and melt it. Don’t eat the snow itself as it will drop your core temperature. Also, if you have a flashlight and some batteries those will be useful for other people to spot you. Flares can help in the same way. Finally, keep your hazard lights on to make it easier for people to spot you.
Hopefully you will never have to deal with being stranded like this, but it is always good to be prepared for such an event. Drive safe everyone!
Getting stuck in the snow is not fun, but it could happen during the cold winter days. It it happens, you need to be prepared. Here are a few helpful items to include in your car so your winter driving can be as stress-free as possible:
Booster cables should be something you keep in your car year-round but especially in winter. Having a dead battery near night time is dangerous. Not only do the temperatures drop rapidly, but also makes it harder for you to see the road. Having booster cables gives you the right tool to jump start your car.
If you get stranded and there are no other cars around, you may be sitting in the cold for a while. As it gets darker, the temperature drops. It is wise to have some blankets to keep you warm until help arrives.
Flashlight and extra batteries
Having a Flashlight is another must-have item in your car year-round. Put simply, it lets you see in the dark “to help put those booster cables on.” A bright flashlight also makes it easier for people to spot/see you if it gets too dark. Be sure to keep some extra batteries in the car and replace them periodically.
Having extra winter clothes in the car is also useful for a couple of reasons. If you get stranded, you might have to walk for help. If you have a flat tire or other situation in which you have to get out of the car during bad winter weather, it is nice to have warm, dry clothes in case you step in a puddle of partially-frozen water or slip in mud or snow. Being cold and wet is no fun. It’s a good idea to have extra clothing with you.
Take some food with you in the car in case you are stuck waiting for help to come. You might also consider keeping some non-perishable food in the car during the winter months as well. Think of them as your emergency stash. If you are in a remote area, be sure there are at least some high calorie foods in your “stash.” Just like batteries for your flashlight, be sure to replace the foods periodically.