Post Blizzard Driving Help

Car under some snow after a blizzard

The media was calling it the biggest blizzard to ever hit the East Coast, but what really transpired was a bad storm, but not the worst blizzard ever. Regardless, some East Coast residents are still shoveling driveways and parking spots this morning attempting to clean up the snow and ice mess. Hopefully you can get your car out of that parking spot without any problems, but some of you may not be so lucky.

Many East Coast residents are complaining this morning that city plow trucks have buried their cars in snow. Typically, warnings are put out by cities stating when and how streets will be plowed, but sometimes those warnings are not heard — and in the case of this storm, most people didn’t want to step foot outside in order to move already parked cars! The result may be that your car is now buried underneath a mound of snow.

Before you start shoveling, here are some things that you need to know about driving and getting your car out of parking lot after a major storm.

Moving from That Spot

The sight of a car turned snow sculpture can be really frustrating! You’ll have to start shoveling your car out of the snow somehow, and that probably means that you’ll be spending a few hours today digging your car out. Since it’s hard to determine just how deep the snow is, do not start to dig too aggressively, or you may wind up hitting your car with a shovel. Start cautiously, and remove the snow bit by bit, taking a break as needed.

One you can actually see your car (and you’ve dusted most of the snow off), you’ll have to figure out how to get it out of that spot. Chances are that your car is now nicely stuck in snow and ice and possibly some mud, so removing it from that parking area won’t be easy. But follow these tips, and you’ll get your car out of that spot soon enough!

  • Do not spin your tires. For some reason, most of us get in our cars, turn them on, and then step on the gas. It seems like a logical thing to do, right? If you put more power behind the car, the tires should eventually start to work, and that means that you will be free of that spot in no time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. If your car doesn’t move the first time, do not spin the tires. This will only cause a deeper rut!
  • Rock your car back and forth in order to get it out of that rut — try putting your car in reverse and then in drive numerous times. If you have traction control, turn it off, since this often works against what you’re trying to do (as counterintuitive as it may seem!).
  • Still can’t get your car out? Putting some dirt, cat litter, or using some special ice grips (you can buy these at hardware stores) underneath your tires should help with traction. You can also prepare for these kinds of problems by keeping containers of dirt and cat litter in your trunk at all times, so that you’re never really stuck no matter where you go. It might take a bit of time between rocking back and forth and using some kind of gripping material to get out of the spot you’re in, but you should get there eventually.
  • You may want to call a tow truck if you can’t get your car out of the spot its in. Sometimes, you can do damage to your engine and transmission by trying too hard to dig your car out of a rut.

After You Get Your Car Out

By now, most of the snow has fallen, and highway crews have been able to sand and salt most roads, but that doesn’t mean every road is clear. You should prepare to meet ice patches no matter where you intend to travel, and that means driving slowly and cautiously. There’s never any situation during the wintertime when you should be driving fast or recklessly. Almost everything can wait, and if it’s an emergency situation, simply call an ambulance instead of trying to make it to the hospital on your own in icy conditions!

For the sake of your life and the lives of other people on the roads, be sure to drive safely. While it might be too late for this storm, it’s also vital that your car is always in the best condition possible. You can ensure that your car is safe by getting regular inspections, fixing any problems, and installing a backup camera. A rear camera will show you things in back of your car that you cannot normally see — and could be a life saver in a blizzard! If you need a rear backup camera, call QuickVu and Trail Ridge Technologies today. Be safe out there!