Preparing for the Worst: What To Do if You Get Stranded in Your Car

We're moving into the winter months, which means that it's time to start preparing for cold weather driving. Unexpected snow, ice, and cold temperatures can wreak havoc on travel plans, and finding yourself stranded in a blizzard can be a really scary situation.


1. Clear your tailpipe.

If you're stranded in your car and it's winter time and you need to stay warm, the first thing I would make sure of is that the tailpipe is clear in the back. Many times people die from asphyxiation because the carbon monoxide builds up in the vehicle because it can't get out. 

2. Stay warm, but conserve gas.

To conserve gas, I would run the heat on high for approximately 30 minutes to get the compartment warm. And at that point, shut it off until the temperature drops to the point where you're uncomfortable. Once that coolant has hit a certain degrees, it stays warm for quite a while. So when you do start the car up after it has sat for 30 minutes, it's not going to take as long to warm up as if it had sat all night. It's going to warm up pretty quickly.

3. Keep hydrated.

If you don't have any water in the car with you, you'll need to melt snow. The more hydrated you are, the better your body will be at regulating its temperature and keeping you warm. 

4. Stay buckled and keep your hazard lights on.

Even if you're stopped and safely off the road, people can still hit you. Conditions are slippery in a snow storm and visibility is poor, so you never know where another car is going to end up. Use extreme caution also if you exit the vehicle for any reason, like to go to the bathroom or check the tailpipe. 

5. Be prepared.

In snowy months, it is always advisable to keep some necessities in your car just in case you run into unexpected weather conditions that strand you in your car. Keeping non-perishable snacks and bottles of water in your trunk is a great idea in case of emergencies. It would also be a good idea to stock up on supplies for keeping warm. Blankets, thermal gloves and extra coats, and other supplies can help you conserve and consolidate your body heat. You can keep newspapers to cover your windows with, which will also help the vehicle retain heat. Things like snow shovels and flashlights and backup batteries, if you have room for them, might also be your saving grace in a less-than-ideal situation.

If you have any tips of your own for staying safe and warm while stranded in the snow, please let us know! 
Categories: Driving Tips
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