Should motorists find themselves stranded in the snow with no help in sight, AAA cautions drivers not to needlessly spin the tires; this only digs the vehicle deeper into the snow. To properly free your vehicle, AAA experts suggest the following:
1) Clear away as much snow as possible from around the tires, under the vehicle and near the vehicle exhaust pipe.
2) Improve traction by scattering sand around the front tires for front-wheel drive cars, and around the rear tires for rear-wheel drive cars. Vehicle floor mats may work in a pinch.
3) Place the car in low gear (automatic transmissions) or second gear (manual transmissions) and gently press the accelerator. Ease off if the tires begin to spin.
4) If still unable to free the vehicle, try slowly rocking the car. Ease forward with the car in low gear (automatic transmissions) or second gear (manual transmissions). When the car will no longer go forward, release the accelerator to allow the car to roll back.
5) When the vehicle stops its backward motion, apply minimum pressure to the accelerator again. Repeat these actions in rapid succession until the vehicle rolls free.
6) If others are available to help, have them push to assist the car's rocking motion. People pushing the vehicle should not stand directly behind the wheels because of the risks of flying gravel, sand and ice.
7) If you are unable to free your vehicle, set up reflectors, flares or other signal devices to alert passing motorists.
8) If you stay in your car, tie a bright cloth to your antenna to alert rescuers. If you run the engine for warmth, make sure snow does not block the exhaust pipe, which could cause dangerous fumes to back up inside the car.
9) If you can leave your vehicle and reach shelter safely, contact your local AAA auto club for assistance. AAA members can request roadside assistance by contacting their club or visiting www.AAA.com online.