What to do if you’re stranded on the highway during a winter storm


Lily Pumphrey

The best way to prevent being stranded on the road is to listen to weather advisories. If experts recommend staying in, stay in. The best way to stay safe is to prevent dangerous situations from the get-go. However, this is not always possible, and the weather can be unpredictable. Here are five tips to help you stay safe during a winter storm.


  1. Make a winter storm survival kit.

The best way to stay safe during a winter storm is to be prepared. Winter storms can often strike suddenly and without warning. Some important items to include in a winter survival kit include blankets or jackets, water or juice, nonperishable food, and a basic toolkit.


  1. Signal for help

The first thing you should do when you are stranded is to call for help. Assuming that your phone has service and is charged, you should be able to call 911. If this is not the case, keep your hazards on to signal that you need help. Turn the lights in your car on when you can to signal that you are there, and place roadside flares or other bright objects (such as CD’s) around or on your car to make yourself more visible to rescuers and other drivers.


  1. Stay put

Unless there is a building within walking distance, you should always stay put and call 911. If you can, pull off of the highway with your hazards on to indicate that you are in need of assistance. Remember to keep your seatbelt buckled in case someone else hits you.


  1. Check your tailpipe

Make sure to ensure that snow is not covering your tailpipe periodically, as a blocked tailpipe can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide in your car, which can be deadly. Be careful of oncoming traffic.


  1. Stay warm

A good way to stay warm is to keep moving. Clap your hands and wiggle your toes to prevent frostbite and stay warm. If your car still works, try to conserve energy by only turning on your engine every once in a while. Experts suggest turning on your engine for ten minutes at one-hour intervals to keep your car warm.