To avoid being stuck in snow, the best advice is to avoid unnecessary journeys during the bad weather. However, it isn’t always that simple and sometimes the weather can be unexpected. Therefore it is always a good idea to know how to deal with such a situation.

The good news is that in the UK you are unlikely to have a car stuck in such deep snow that you cannot get out with a little know-how and some basic preparation. As long as you have the right tools on hand, you should be able to free yourself from most difficult situations.

Avoiding Getting Stuck

If you have the option to do so, swap to winter tyres. These will help you to maintain traction even under difficult driving conditions. It is also a good idea to carry car snow chains with you. If you notice that the snow is getting deep and are confident that conditions are not going to improve quickly, put the snow chains on.

Note that snow chains can cause damage to your tyres and to the road if you drive on roads that are not covered in snow while you have the chains fitted. For this reason, you should use them only when absolutely necessary, and remove them when the conditions on the road improve.

Freeing Yourself

If your car does get stuck in the snow, there are some techniques that you can use to free yourself. Firstly, get into the habit of carrying some sandbags in your car. Not only will this help to give you more traction - preventing you from getting stuck in the first place, it will give you an escape option too.

If you do find yourself stuck, put some of the sand from those sandbags under your tyres, so that you can find some traction and get out of the hole you're in. If you don't have sand, use dirt, road salt, or even kitty litter. Anything that is less slippery than sand will work. You may want to consider buying a set of escape tracks or recovery tracks which can help you get free in snow, mud and sand. They are easy to use and store neatly in your boot until you need them.

Once you have a clear path and some traction, the next step is to find a way to rock your car free. The trick here is to put your car into drive, then reverse, then drive again. This will help you to rock free of the snow. Repeat this process over and over to build up some momentum. Don't worry about revving hard - it's momentum that works, not raw power.

Stay calm and be methodical while you are working your way free. If you panic and spin your wheels for too long you could end up digging yourself into a deeper trench in the snow, making it harder to get out.