red caution sign on winter road with woman standing beside car stuck in ice

Getting your car stuck on ice in the winter is an all too common occurrence for many drivers. If you find yourself stuck on ice while you’re away from home, there are a few things you can try before making an emergency call.


Stuck on ice?

If your car is stuck on ice, there are a few things you can try to get your car free. Just as with snow, the problem here is that your tires aren’t getting enough traction. This can be especially difficult on vehicles that only have front wheel drive. In order to restore traction to your car wheels, they’ll need something to grip. Whether you’re prepared with road salt or need to get a little crafty, here are some tips for getting your car out of icy road conditions.


Clear space around tires

If there’s snow around your tires, it will only complicate the matters. Clear all snow from around your tires. If you have four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, you’ll probably have an easier time, but keep in mind that it doesn’t take very much to keep your car from gaining traction. Even AWD cars can’t drive on pure ice. Less than an inch of ice or snow can cause you to lose traction.


Get traction

If you just can’t seem to get going, you need more traction. You can use car mats, cardboard, old rugs, or anything flat and textured in a pinch. Place your car mats or other items in front of the the affected tires before giving it some gas. Go easy on the gas and don’t floor it, or you could make things worse. If you still can’t get any traction, you can try rocking the car forward until the front tires are on the items providing traction, then drive over them. Hopefully, you’ll only have to do this once, but if necessary you can repeat this step with your mats until you’re on safe ground.


Ask for help

It seems like a no-brainer, but for some people asking for help can be the last thing they’ll do. If you’re stuck and you simply don’t have the resources or the manpower to get free. Don’t be afraid to ask other motorists or neighbors to give you a hand. Sometimes just one extra person can make all the difference.


Other things that provide traction

If you forgot to buy road salt, here’s a few other things you can use in a situation when you get stuck on ice:

  • Sand
  • Kitty litter
  • Potting soil

Or any other gritty material you can toss. These items can be just a useful as salt in preventing wheel spin. Throw a few handfuls down around and in front of your tires before trying to drive out. If you can gain traction and get moving, just drive as far as you can. If you have to, stop and put down more before trying again.


Just be patient and consider your options. Stay calm and don’t floor your gas pedal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It may take a bit of time but you’ll eventually work your way off the ice and get back on the road.


Be prepared for the next winter storm and keep your windshield and windshield wipers safe ahead of time with these tips!

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