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Answering All Your Car Questions

Avoid getting stranded this winter

(NC)—You can never take winter driving conditions for granted. Take for example the Minnesota man who, in January 2001, drove a few kilometres to the grocery store and ended up getting stranded in a winter storm for 36 hours!

While you should always try to avoid driving in winter storm conditions, it is sometimes unavoidable. Since the weather is often unpredictable, Michelin advises drivers to be prepared for the unexpected.

"Installing four winter tires on your vehicle will help keep you on the road and can prevent drivers from becoming stranded in severe weather conditions," advises Tony Mougios, Brand Manager for Michelin in Canada. "Michelin has incorporated new technologies and rubber compounds into our winter tire lines to give drivers extra control and performance in winter conditions."

In the event you find yourself stranded on the highway or a secondary road this winter, Michelin offers the following tips:

  • Move your vehicle as far off the road as possible to avoid being hit
  • Turn on your hazard lights to attract help
  • Keep additional clothing in your vehicle and put it on to keep warm
  • Use a cellular phone to call for help
  • Do not drift away from the car and run the engine periodically, but not continuously
  • Move your arms and legs to improve your circulation and to keep warm
  • Consider the outside temperature and wind chill before leaving your vehicle

The most important tip to remember is not to run your engine continuously, especially if snow is accumulating rapidly. Internal combustion engines produce exhaust fumes known as carbon monoxide – a colourless, odourless gas that, if inhaled in sufficient quantities, can cause drowsiness, unconsciousness, coma and even death. If snow accumulates and blocks your exhaust pipe, you are at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Take the time to have your vehicle checked before venturing out on the roads this winter because a little preparation and prevention can go a long way. Just as you never expect to get stranded, you can never tell what old man winter will have in store.