Stuck in the Car During a Snowstorm? Here’s What to Do

Bostonians have grown accustomed to the harsh New England winters. However, it’s important to be prepared for potential blizzards that can not only snow you in but leave you stranded in your car without any means of mobility. This could cause immense panic and severe harm if you’re unprepared. Fortunately, knowing what to do in this situation could get you through this emergency and even save your life.

Here’s what you need to know if you ever find yourself trapped in your car during a snowstorm.

Preparation is Key

There are several ways you can prepare yourself and your vehicle for a severe snowstorm ahead of time. 

First, prepare your car, and ensure it is well-maintained, routinely inspected, and has a full gas tank. Also, make sure that your phone is always charged.

Second, check the weather reports. If bad weather is approaching, change your plans and stay indoors. If you must travel, tell someone where you’re going and your route before you leave.

Finally, prepare an emergency kit to keep in your car trunk. Include items such as blankets, sleeping bags, parkas, boots, hats, gloves, medications, wipes, a first-aid kit, a cell phone charger, an ice scraper, jumper cables, food (something calorically and nutritionally dense, like energy bars), water, and supplies to help dig your car out of the snow like a shovel and cat litter to melt snow and add traction. 

What to Do if You’re Stuck

Whatever you do, don’t panic. Although this is a serious situation, you can make it out alive. There are ways you can minimize harm, such as:

Bundling up. Wear all the warm clothing available in your car. Most heat is lost at your head, so bring and wear a hat. In addition, sit with your hands in your armpits and hug yourself to keep your body warm. 

Checking your tailpipe. Ensure it is not clogged to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Signaling your distress. Call 911, and mark your car with a brightly colored cloth on your door or antenna if possible. If the snow stops, pop your hood open. 

Creating a small space. Use the blankets and jackets in your car to make a fort. Smaller areas are easiest to heat.

Remaining in your vehicle. Your car is a remarkable survival shelter. Do not leave your vehicle and walk around; you will get cold, wet, lost, and potentially hit by another driver.

Running your car for 10 minutes an hour. Experts say you should start your vehicle and run your heater, hazard lights, and dome lights for ten minutes every hour. After that, shut everything off to avoid battery drain and the potential of carbon monoxide entering your vehicle. You may even crack your window a bit to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which could be fatal.

Avoiding cell phone use. Ideally, you must only use your phone to contact emergency services. Otherwise, you could risk draining your battery and having no means of communication or ability to be located.

Drinking melted snow if you run out of water. To restore moisture in your body and avoid dehydration, drink melted snow. 

Lastly, being patient as you wait to be rescued is crucial. Again, this is an emergency, but you will make it through as long as you prepare ahead and act quickly and carefully. 

Boston Injury Attorneys Who Care About Your Case

At Jeff Glassman Injury Lawyers, we care about your case and you. Your health and safety are our top priority, and we are committed to helping prevent mental and physical harm before it starts. Following an emergency, we are prepared to step up and protect your rights as you recover.

If you or a loved one was hurt or harmed in an accident through no fault of your own, we are here for you. Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office at 617-777-7777 for a free, no-obligation, consultation.

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