5 Winter Car Hacks That Can Prevent You From Getting Stuck in Snowy Misery

Winter is approaching and many drivers will be hitting the roads this season to embark on road trips. However, there will be times when the journey can prove to be treacherous due to massive snowfall and packed roads. As such, here are five winter car hacks that can prevent you from getting stuck in the snow.

1. If you get stuck in the snow, use your car’s floor mats

08 February 2021, Lower Saxony, Hanover: A car’s tyre spins on an icy and snow-covered road. Photo: Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa (Photo by Hauke-Christian Dittrich/picture alliance via Getty Images)

If you happen to get stuck in the snow, then you have a couple of options, reports Action Gator Tire. The first option is to take your car’s floor mats out and place them underneath the car’s tires for more traction. The second option is to bring a bag of sand or cat litter with you and sprinkle some of that on the ground to get traction. Either way, you should be able to get unstuck using these methods.

2. Keep an emergency kit in your car

Swiss Safe First Aid Kit
Swiss Safe First Aid Kit | Amazon

Another hack is always keeping an emergency kit in your car if you know that you’ll be driving through some snowy areas on your trip. Here are some of the most notable items to keep in your car:

  • Non-perishable food
  • Water
  • Flashlight
  • Cell phone charger
  • Ice Scraper
  • A foldable shovel
  • Cat litter or sand
  • First aid kit

We recommend keeping everything in a duffel bag to make it easy to transport.

3. Increase your visibility using toothpaste

Lemon and Baking Soda can clean up a car's headlights
Lemon and Baking Soda can clean up a car’s headlights | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Your car’s headlights tend to get foggy over time due to the sun’s UV rays and other environmental factors. That fogginess can easily decrease your visibility when driving during a snowfall. You can have your headlights professionally cleaned, but if you want to save money, then you can also go over them with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Seriously, it works.

Another method that we found for cleaning up headlights involves going over them with a lemon and baking soda. Believe it or not, it works as well.

4. Place a blanket on your car’s windshield

 An antifreeze blanket protects the windshield of a car parked in Südstadt from snow and ice.
An antifreeze blanket protects the windshield of a car parked in Südstadt from snow and ice. | Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa

RELATED: Inexpensive Emergency Tools to Keep in Your Car

De-icing your car’s windshield is a pain, especially when you have to hack away at it with a scraper. If you want to skip the scraping, then one easy method is to simply place a blanket or a tarp over the windshield the night before. When you come out to your car the next day, you can simply lift the blanket and your windshield will be clear.

5. Use a penny to check your car’s tire tread depth

Jeff Hermsen, store manager of Just Tires in Deerfield, Ill., checks tread depth of a tire using the penny test on November 2, 2017.
Jeff Hermsen, store manager of Just Tires in Deerfield, Ill., checks tread depth of a tire using the penny test on November 2, 2017. | Robert Duffer/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Lastly, before you embark on your journey, it’s a good idea to make sure that your car’s tires are ready to go. If you don’t have a tire depth gauge – which most drivers don’t – then you can use a penny to check each tire’s tread. Simply place the penny upside down on the tire tread, if you see Abe Lincoln’s head, then it’s time to replace the tire. If not, then you likely have enough tread to get you through the snow.

Winter hacks for winter driving

Taking a long road trip in the snow can be daunting, especially when there’s a risk of getting stuck in it. With these five hacks, you can ensure that you and your family stay safe this season whether you’re driving far or staying local.

RELATED: How to Protect Your Car From Snow Damage