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Safety tips if you're trapped in a car during a snowstorm.

Danielle Williams February 12, 2017
Cars stick in traffic jam during a snow storm.
When a winter storm hits, it can wreak havoc and chaos on city streets and highways. Not only could you end up with a dead battery, get a flat tire or run out of gas, but when you drive during a snowstorm there are more risks that could lead to you being involved in a collision. It’s important to remember safety is always the top priority when you’re behind the wheel.

No matter the car emergency, you’ll need to wait for assistance to help you get back on the road. If you find yourself stuck on the side of the road during bad winter weather, here are some safety tips to keep in mind.

Move out of harm’s way.

The most important thing to do when stranded in bad weather is to stay out of danger from oncoming traffic. To protect yourself and your car, pull over to the shoulder and stay there until help arrives. Visibility is reduced for all drivers during an ice storm, so remaining on the side of the road is a fundamental way to keep yourself safe.

Stay inside your car.

When you’re pulled over, stay in your car for as long as possible. In bad weather, it may be difficult for oncoming traffic to notice you or your car so stay safe inside of the vehicle until help arrives. If you know you’ll be in your car for a long time, turn on your car only for a few minutes every hour to stay warm. You should also keep the window cracked a little bit to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

What to have inside your vehicle.

Depending on weather and your location, it could take time for help to arrive. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for an emergency, so you should have the essentials in your car to help you survive any weather condition. Keep a portable phone charger, a flashlight and extra batteries in your glove compartment to keep you powered up. Plus, it’s great to have snacks, water, a first aid kit, an emergency car kit with a reflective vest, extra clothes and a blanket handy

What to do outside your car.

If you need to leave your car, make sure to do so safely by wearing a reflective vest. To stay visible to motorists and rescue vehicles, put on your emergency 4-way flashers. If it’s a really snowy day or a dark night, set up reflective pylons or flares around your car. If you do need to exit your vehicle, take a moment to clean your windshield if your wipers aren’t working. In order to help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should also remove any snow that may have entered your tailpipe.

Whenever you need help, you can reach us by downloading the CAA App, visiting https://roadside.caasco.ca/ or dialing *222 on your smartphone.

Members can receive real-time updates on service calls and wait times online or through the CAA App.