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In the event of being trapped in a snowdrift or a snow bank, the CAA urges drivers not to panic. “Avoid over-exertion and exposure,” instructs the CAA. “Shoveling and bitter cold can kill.” However, if the road ahead is clear and your vehicle can be dug out, use a shovel and traction mat or sand to get out. CDOT advises drivers stuck or stranded to follow these simple rules:
1. Do not leave the vehicle because it is the only certain source of shelter.
2. Run the engine sparingly and beware of exhaust fumes and the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. This occurs when there is a lack of ventilation, causing the engine to recycle exhaust fumes back into the vehicle’s cabin.
3. Keep fresh air in the vehicle by opening a window on the side most sheltered from the wind.
4. Ensure that the tailpipe is not blocked by snow.
5. Use a candle for heat instead of the vehicle’s heater, if possible.
6. If you do not have a candle for light, use dome lights. Overuse of headlights may run the battery down.
7. Wear a hat. The human body can lose up to 60 percent of its heat through the head.
Effective December 1997, all cellular telephones are required to have carrier network access to make unlimited FREE 911 calls. Therefore, charge the battery and keep an old cell phone in your vehicle. Taking the time today to prepare for winter conditions can eliminate a headache in the future. So take heed of the tips from the aforementioned experts and you should never have to spend a powder day in your vehicle.