Who Do You Call When Stuck in Snow in Maryland?

Snow. It’s a thing of beauty and a frequent friend to kids who just don’t want to go to school that morning. It’s not so much fun, though, when you’re trying to safely traverse low-visibility conditions and slippery roads in your vehicle. There’s only one thing worse: Not doing any driving at all because you’re stuck!

This is all too common for Maryland residents. The Free State isn’t so free when you’re up to your wheel arches in the white stuff, and we get a lot of it: an average seasonal snowfall of 20 inches, or between 10 and 110 inches, depending on where you live.

It’s therefore essential that every Maryland motorist knows who to call when stuck in snow. This guide will provide the number for a trustworthy team and some practical snow-beating strategies to help you get ahead of the next flurries. Read on to become a more informed and prepared winter driver!

Avoid Getting Stuck in Snow in the First Place

In an ideal world, no driver would ever need towing or roadside assistance when stuck in snow. Did you know there’s a difference between the two? A simple way to describe it is that towing gets a vehicle from A to B (whatever B’s purpose may be), while roadside assistance can do jobs from A to Z to get the car running again.

You just might avoid either of these if you employ a few proactive low-temperature tips. This wouldn’t be much of a guide if it didn’t try to prevent the problem it’s written to solve, so let’s cover some of the best ways to prevent your vehicle from getting stuck in snow:

-Drive Differently

Smooth acceleration and generally driving more slowly can prevent accidents that could leave you stranded in the snow. Keep your headlights strong and leave more space between you and other vehicles.

-Stock Up on Snowy Road Survival Supplies

Don’t make MacGyver cry. Make space in your trunk, then invest in some battery jumper cables, a snow shovel, an ice scraper, a big bag of cat litter or sand, and some flattened cardboard. All of these can help by either keeping your windshield and tire paths clear, supplying a boost, or adding emergency traction. Oh, and don’t forget the jack.

-Use Tire Chains or Socks

These mean business for extra snow grip, and they’re mean-looking, too – except the socks, which speak softly and carry big traction. Here are the best of all three for 2023, plus their pros and cons. Chains are good to have on hand as they’re required in Maryland during snow emergencies.

-Wind on Some Winter Tires

Fitting winter tires (yep, we know it’s a chore) can be highly effective before the cold arrives. Our earlier blog highlights how their specialized treads provide safer braking and better traction in varying snow types. They’re effectively like very small snowplows and could help prevent you from getting stuck.

You should also take your car to a mechanic if some time has passed since its last checkup. Repairing any existing issues will put your vehicle in the best possible condition and decrease your chances of needing roadside assistance when stuck in snow.

What if you’ve implemented some of the above, and you’re still going nowhere fast? That’s when you stay frosty and apply the following steps.

7 Things to Do When You’re Stuck in the Snow

We need to ask one question before we continue: You’ve turned off your traction control, right? This is important since you’ll need every wheel working at full grip strength to help you get out of the snow. You just have to remember to turn the traction control back on as soon as you’re clear of what’s keeping you stuck.

It’s also a good idea to fit those tire chains if they’re not already on. Only do this if your vehicle is in a position where you won’t be endangering yourself by getting out. This is the golden rule: If you’re in any danger from external forces, stay in the car and call a towing team.

1. Clear a Path if Possible

Grab your snow shovel if the coast is clear (told you you’d need it) and begin clearing snow away from all sides of the tires and as much as you can from beneath them. You should only need a few feet of clear snow in front of and behind your wheels to provide enough space to start seeking some traction.

2. Use Brakes and Gas at the Same Time

This can be an effective solution when used for very brief periods. The principle is that it puts a hold on any fruitless tire spinning while supplying a burst of energy to get you moving. 

The usual course of action is keeping your tires straight, but this isn’t a universal rule. Angling your front tires during this process could also provide another small but potentially significant chance of escape.

3. Let Down Your Tires (By Just a Little)

We know it seems counterintuitive, but hear us out on this one! Some strategic deflation just might do the trick if you need to move the vehicle a short distance to a safer spot, whether that’s the side of the road, an auto shop, or home.

Tires with a little less air in them will put more of their surface area in contact with the ground and give you a smidgeon more traction to work with. It’s not much, but every little bit can help. Just make sure you can reinflate the tires at your intended destination.

4. The Back-and-Forth Technique (aka Rockin’ Out)

Start inching forward in your vehicle’s lowest gear. Move just a little way forward before slowly reversing, again only a very short distance. Shifting to neutral before each gear shift can spare your vehicle undue wear and tear.

Repeat this process and you could successfully flatten any loose snow and give your vehicle enough momentum to break free. Scrap this approach if you hear any tires starting to spin.

5. Get Gritty with Kitty…Litter

You could alternatively use sand if that’s what you have in the trunk. A sprinkling of either of these in front of and behind your tires can supply some extra traction to get you moving. The cardboard we mentioned earlier might also do the same job.

You may have to improvise with what’s at hand if you don’t have any of those snow-prep items onboard. The foot mats from your car are practical emergency substitutes. Try to avoid using salt because it corrodes metal.

6. Signal for Help in the Immediate Area

A simple push may be all you need to break free of stubborn snow – though “simple” is a relative word if you’re one person trying to do this alone. We can’t stress enough how important it is to stay in your car if there’s any possible external threat to you and your passengers.

If there isn’t, you can attempt to alert other drivers that you’re stuck in snow and see if they’ll stop to push while you do the steering. Their safety is as vital as yours, so don’t try to flag down volunteers if helping you might put them in danger.

7. Call a Towing and Recovery Company

Knowing who to call when stuck in snow can give you significant peace of mind. This is especially true if leaving the car to take care of things yourself would put you in danger. There are a few essential requirements in making your selection, and we’ve listed all six so you can make a smart choice.

Some of the most important include being licensed and registered with the U.S. Department of Transport and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCA). They should also have Insurance for themselves and their customers.

It’s a cold fact that towing and recovery prices can be higher in winter due to the longer rescue times and greater skills required to navigate such harsh conditions. Too many towing services, however, are looking to make a quick buck at your expense no matter the time of year. Understanding the 11 factors that can affect a towing cost estimate will help you decide if you’re getting value for money.

Contact the Geyers Team for a Warm and Friendly Solution

We’re who to call when stuck in snow in Maryland. We’re a chilled-out bunch when it comes to wintery problems, and we’ve been there for 30 years to help private customers, automotive repair facilities, and other partners out of all kinds of scrapes in every type of weather.

Our experienced staff is fully licensed and insured, and our range of versatile towing and recovery vehicles can handle the heaviest weights. We’ll help you keep a cool head whether you need a simple tow, a complicated one, or roadside assistance when stuck in snow.

You can reach out to us day or night, 24/7, and be assured of a first-class service that treats you like family. Just call us at (301) 259-3177 for a free quote, or visit our contact page!

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