Driving in winter weather, especially away from urban areas, may need a little planning. Even if there is no snow on the ground where you are, it is a good idea to prepare for cold-weather driving if you plan to travel. Weather can change at any time and cause you to be temporarily stranded for an unknown amount of time. But, you can be prepared for these types of emergencies.
Before the trip: Anyone planning to drive in areas where a snow storm can potentially happen should carry emergency supplies. A warm blanket, fresh water, food, extra clothing (especially socks and gloves) and extra footwear should be carried. Other helpful items to carry can include a battery or solar-powered device to heat water, a cell phone and the number of an emergency towing company.
Your car should also include all the necessary safety equipment for winter driving. This includes the correct type of tires or chains, tools, a shovel and the correct fluids for winter driving. Have your car checked out before any long trips in winter conditions.
On the road: If you are not used to driving in snowy and icy conditions, take extra precautions. Be prepared for heavy traffic on major roadways during exceptionally snowy or icy weather. Check for snow updates in the area you will be traveling to or passing through next. Many municipalities post snow emergency notices on their websites.
If you are stranded: If you are stranded due to a mechanical breakdown or an unexpected pile-up, call your tow company immediately. Depending on the situation and location, it may be a while before a tow truck can get to you. This is where the extra clothes, hot water, and blankets can come in handy.
Keep your car running with the heater on, if possible. If you suspect it will be a while before the tow truck arrives, periodically shut off the car, turning it back on when the temperature drops. Do not let your car idle if there is anything, such as snow or debris, blocking your exhaust pipe or if you suspect you have an exhaust leak.
Do not leave your vehicle unless you can easily walk to a shelter nearby. Your car is the main source of shelter even if it only protects you from wind. It is also easier to locate a car than a person alone. Do not eat anything cold or frozen, including snow, as it can make your body temperature drop. Stay in the car as much as you can, but periodically keep snow from burying the vehicle. Only step outside the car for the minimum amount of time as possible.
Generally, you will not have to wait long for the tow truck, especially if you were able to contact them by phone. During that time, you will need to keep warm and safe. The best thing to do is avoid getting stranded in the first place. If you predict heavy snow in your area, it may be best to stay at home.
For more information, contact Superior Towing or a similar company.