It happens. People who get stuck driving in a Minnesota winter may get their vehicle stuck in the snow for some reason, maybe they inadvertently drove off the road, they were avoiding a collision, etc. Here are some tips, 7 actually, on how you can try to get yourself unstuck this winter.*

1. Dig yourself out as much as possible. Depending on how you ended up getting your vehicle stuck chances are there could be ALOT of snow packed in around your tires. A shovel is your best friend in trying to dig out your wheels. The end goal is to flatten out as much snow as possible in order to allow your wheels to move.

2. Make sure your wheels are straight. Don't have your wheels turned as you try to get your vehicle unstuck. Having your wheels turned can create stress on your tires, as you try to drive out of the ditch, and the components that are attached to your wheel.

3. Release some air out of your tires. When you take some air out of your tires you are creating more surface area for your tire. More surface area for your tires can mean more traction, which might be enough to free your vehicle. If you go with this tip, you should have a portable air compressor in your car to pump your tires back up to where they are rated to be, and remember when you let some air out of your tires, your vehicle gets lower to the ground, meaning less ground clearance as you try to get unstuck.

4. Find an object to increase your traction. Floor mats, cardboard, kitty litter, sand, salt, etc. Find something that you can get under your wheels to give you some traction to get out, or raise your tires out of the ruts you may have created by spinning your wheels too much.

5. Don't spin your tires! If you get stuck, don't just put it in reverse and stomp on your accelerator. More often than not doing this will just make your vehicle become more stuck. If you become stuck, and you feel you can just either back out or drive out, roll down the window and listen to your tires as you accelerate, if you just hear them whirring and spinning stop.

6. Don't lose your cool. If you find yourself stuck, take a couple of deep breaths and logically think about the situation. Sometimes giving yourself time to calm down and think is the best thing you can do in a situation like this. You might realize that calling a tow truck is the best way to get moving again.

7. Shift down to a lower gear/engage your all-wheel drive. Most vehicles today will have lower gears that you can shift into, or have the option to switch to all-wheel drive. If you find yourself stuck, and after checking the area around you and under your vehicle, and you think you are able to simply power yourself out using the all-wheel-drive or a lower gear give that a shot. But remember you don't want to simply spin your wheels, and make ruts.

*Never attempt these techniques on a highway or interstate without first checking to see it is safe to do so, and stay in your car unless it is safe to exit to examine just how deep your vehicle is stuck in the snow.

H/T to goAuto.ca for the inspiration.

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