If you live in an area where you experience heavy snowfall and snowstorms during the winter, you will need to know these car safety tips. Heavy snow can cause you to become stranded on highways and it can be a very stressful and life-threatening situation. However, you can survive and it always helps to be prepared.
Here’s what you need to do if your car is ever stranded on a snowy highway.
1. If the snowfall is too heavy and you can’t see where you are going, pull off the highway immediately
When you pull off to the side of the road, make sure you are visible to anyone who may rescue you. Turn on your hazard lights as soon as possible. You may also want to tie a brightly colored cloth to your antenna or door handle. Keep items like brightly colored cloths and extra lights in your car so rescuers can see you more easily in an emergency situation.
2. Call 911
If you have a cell phone with you, call 911. You should always keep a cell phone and charger in your car for emergencies. Just remember to never text or call while driving. Describe your location and your condition. If you and your passengers are okay, you may also want to call AAA to come to get you instead of first calling 911.
3. Stay calm and stay in your vehicle
If you get out of your car, you risk getting hit by other cars or getting frostbite. You will also want to stay calm and try to stay dry. If you start to panic and get sweaty, your wet clothes could make you susceptible to hypothermia. If you start to become too warm and tired, let some cool air in the car.
4. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Make sure the exhaust pipe is clear and is not getting blocked by snow to avoid the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Run your engine every 10 minutes or so to make sure your car doesn’t break down. You may also want to keep a window cracked for fresh air. When the engine is running, turn the dome light on to attract more attention to your car.
5. Aim to stay safe and warm in your car
If you have multiple people in the car, huddle together for warm. Take turns sleeping so someone can be on the lookout for rescue crews at all times. Loosen tight clothing and change positions frequently to avoid blood clots that form from staying too still.
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