When the weather’s rough and the road’s unfavorable, your best bet is to stay at home. But if you can’t help but go out for work, an errand, or an emergency, you need to prepare yourself for the worst. One of the most inconvenient and also dangerous things that can happen is getting your car stuck in snow, sand, dirt, or mud.
To make sure you can drive as smoothly and safely as possible, follow these wise tips on preventing your vehicle from being stuck.
Keep Your Car in Good Condition
Before it even snows or rains, keeping your car in the best possible condition can help prevent accidents from happening. Getting stuck can happen to anyone, but getting out faster is easier for someone who’s prepared.
Sticking to a good maintenance plan can make the difference between going through rough roads and getting stuck in them.
Have the Right Tires
Tires come in all shapes and sizes. More importantly, some tires are designed to trek more efficiently through the snow and through muddy terrain. Make sure you replace your all-season tire with a winter tire if you’re anticipating deep snow.
Regardless of what type of tire you have, it should always be in proper condition. Get your air pressure checked before the snow starts hitting the ground.
Slightly Deflate Your Tires
Get better traction when traveling in mud, deep sand or snow by slightly deflating your tires. This will give your tires maximum contact with the surface. However, you need to drive carefully, especially over potential potholes, since you will also lower your clearance.
Inspect and Clear Your Path
Planning your route and actively avoiding hazards go a long way in ensuring safety. Step out of your car for a moment and do a physical inspection.
Keep a Shovel in Your Car
A shovel is probably the most useful tool you can have with you if your vehicle becomes stuck. Your hands and back are poor substitutes for the easy digging and scooping of a shovel. You can also use the shovel to clear out your path.
Keep a D-handle or foldable shovel in the back of your car. There are also specially-designed snow shovels you can bring.
Don’t Brake Suddenly
Braking suddenly is instinctive, but it’s not recommended. Most of the time, your momentum can actually carry you out of the mush.
This also applies when driving in sand. Braking quickly will create a deep rut that can trap you more. Instead, slow down your vehicle and gently come to a stop.
If you can’t get your vehicle unstuck with these tips, call a tow truck for assistance. Professional help is always preferred when it’s a matter of your safety. Drive safe!
Written by the staff of Tiger Towing in Columbia, MO.