Snowbound: What to Do if You Get Stuck

Snowbound: What to Do if You Get Stuck

Tips for Getting Your Car Out of the Snow
AAA Staff
Car Stuck in Snow

Even the most experienced drivers can get themselves stuck in the snow. Simply leaving your car parked outdoors during a heavy snowfall can leave your car buried and immobilized without some serious labor to get it out. 

Remember, snowbound vehicles can only be serviced by AAA if accessible. Snow removal is not provided by AAA.


Nobody wants to rough it in the snow to free a car, but you can minimize your efforts and save your energy by taking these smart steps:

  • Clear a path in front of your wheels for several feet by driving forward and backward or shoveling.
  • With your wheels pointed straight to minimize rolling resistance, shift to "drive" (or second gear for manual transmissions) and apply gentle pressure to the accelerator, WITHOUT spinning the wheels. If you let the wheels spin, you will only dig deeper into the snow.
  • If you need more traction, use traction mats, kitty litter, or one of the abrasive materials that you included in your emergency winter driving kit. Do not let anyone stand directly ahead or behind the drive wheels.
  • If you are still stuck, rock your vehicle out of the rut by applying the accelerator slowly in low gear, releasing when you stop moving forward and re-applying when you stop rolling backward. Repeat in rapid succession using minimum power to avoid spinning wheels.
  • Try to avoid driving when visibility is poor. If you must drive, keep your speed low, use your low-beam headlights, and pull off to a safe spot if conditions worsen.


Knowing how to get your car out of the snow is just part of the winter driving battle. Is your car up for the task? Take your car to a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility for all of your winter car service needs. Find your closest shop today.

AAA Approved Auto Repair