The best way to avoid problems is to be prepared for them. We are in the heart of winter right now, and have seen our fair share of snowstorms in Minnesota already this year. Slippery roads, blowing snow, and low visibility can call cause cars to go off the road and wind up stuck in the ditch.

I sincerely hope you never find yourself stuck in a snowstorm with car troubles, but if you are, the American Red Cross has shared a bunch of helpful tips:

  • Leave the overhead light on when the engine is running so that you can be seen.
  • Run the engine occasionally to keep warm. Turn on the engine for about 10 minutes each hour (or five minutes every half hour).
  • Display a trouble sign to indicate you need help. Hang a brightly colored cloth (preferably red) on the radio antenna and raise the hood after snow stops falling.
  • Stay in the vehicle and wait for help. Do not leave the vehicle to search for assistance unless help is visible within 100 yards (91 meters). You can quickly become disoriented and confused in blowing snow.
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In addition to those tips they share on their website to make sure your car has an emergency supply kit filled with things like matches in a waterproof container, something to generate traction under your wheels like a small bag of sand, water, flashlight, snacks, and of course warm clothing.

For more winter safety tips, visit the Red Cross online.

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