Caitlin Moran
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What to Do if You’re Stuck in a Snowdrift

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Winter weather tends to turn the world into a beautiful wonderland of snow and ice. But while it does look ridiculously pretty when you’re inside your warm and cozy home, it can be a major problem if you’re out on the road. If you drive in winter weather, there are a variety of ways you can stay safe, but these methods don’t guarantee your safety. To make sure you’re prepared for even the worst situation, here are some tips on what to do if you’re stuck in a snowdrift in your car.

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Attempt to Get Your Car Out

This can be done in a myriad of ways. Your tires need traction, so sprinkle sand, kitty litter, or salt underneath your tires to help them stick. If your car is front-wheel drive, sprinkle whatever substance you’re using behind the front tires; if it’s rear-wheel drive, do it behind your rear tires. You can even use the rubber underside of your floor mats to help out. Shovel the snow out from around your tires if it’s built up and attempt to move your car.

Clear Your Tailpipe

Keep the Exhaust Pipe Clear

If you can’t get out, and are snuggled in your car for the long haul, make sure your exhaust pipe is always clear. I can’t overstate the importance of this. If your tailpipe is covered, carbon monoxide can slip into the car, slowly but surely killing you. So really—keep your tailpipe clear.

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Winterizing Your Car snowStay Inside Your Car

It might take a while for someone to come rescue you. While it’s important to watch your fuel consumption by not keeping your car running all the time, staying inside your car will keep you warmer than being outside will. It provides a shelter from the wind and will protect you from falling snow and ice.

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Be Prepared

One of the most important tips I can give you is to be prepared in case of an emergency. You never know when you might get stuck on the side of the road, regardless of the weather. Make sure you have an emergency kit full of non-perishable, protein-rich food, a cell phone and charger, blankets, and a variety of other tools to keep you safe and warm when you’re stuck in a snowdrift. You can find a list of everything you need to pack in a winter survival kit here.