Clear the snow. If you’re in a safe area, dig the snow away from all the wheels. But don’t do any heavy lifting, shoveling or pushing in the bitter cold – it can be dangerous.

Get some traction. Put traction pads under both drive wheels, or better yet spread sand, salt, or cat litter under the tires.

Get it moving. Keeping your wheels straight, rock the car back and forth by alternating from drive to reverse, increasing the distance traveled with each rock. Use gentle accelerator pressure. If your car is automatic, brake when shifting from drive to reverse or vice versa, to avoid damaging the transmission.

Still stuck? Call for help. Make your vehicle as visible as possible using flares, emergency flashers, or even a scarf or piece of cloth tied to the antenna. If your vehicle isn’t at risk of being hit by other drivers, stay inside so you have shelter. It's the safest and warmest place.

Keep warm. Run the engine sparingly, and keep a window on the side sheltered from the wind partially open for ventilation. Check to make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t blocked with snow. Carbon monoxide from the exhaust is odorless and deadly. Use a survival candle for heat if you have one. Wear a hat.

Stay awake. Exercise your arms and legs often. Stay awake. Watch for traffic or searchers.

SOURCES: Driving School Association of Ontario, CAA/MTO Winter Driving Brochure

Winter Driving Tips

  • Get your vehicle ready for winter in the fall
  • Install four matching winter tires
  • Learn and practice winter driving techniques before you need them
  • Plan your trip, check road and weather conditions
  • Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle before each trip
  • Give yourself extra travel time in bad weather
  • Avoid using overdrive and cruise control on slippery roads
  • Drive smoothly, and don't make sudden movements
  • Slow down

SOURCE: CAA/MTO Winter Driving Brochure