A snowstorm can catch you off guard, and when sleet and snow falls, keeping ahead of the storm becomes important. While leaving your car on the side of the road and walking home might seem like an option to you, discover a few reasons why you shouldn’t abandon your car during a snowstorm.
Your Car Might Be Towed
Cars abandoned on routes usually reserved for emergency traffic can be towed, especially if the vehicles present a danger to others on the road. You probably won’t hear your car has been towed until you receive a towing bill.
If you think your insurance company will cover the bill, think again. According to Jon Osterberg, spokesperson for PEMCO Insurance, abandoned-car towing fees aren’t usually covered by car insurance policies.
Your Car Could Be Hit
Heavy snowfall can obscure a car from view or move the vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic. In fact, abandoned cars are statistically more likely to be involved in hit-and-run collisions in snowy conditions.
Your insurance company might cover your repairs, but you’re likely to face a higher deductible when your vehicle is repaired.
You’re Vulnerable to Danger
Your car isn’t the only object vulnerable at the side of the road. You’re also placing yourself in danger when you decide to walk. Even if you’re wearing clothing with fluorescent reflectors, you’ll never be as visible as a large car with its lights on. You’re also not as protected on foot as you are when you’re surrounded by a warm, steel-reinforced car.
Motorists face impaired vision during snowstorms, and they can overlook a pedestrian on the road. Cars aren’t your only threat when you’re walking, however.
When the weather becomes poor for driving, it’s also not ideal for walking if you’re unprepared. Frigid temperatures can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma or heart problems. When the weather dips to minus 20 degrees, including the windchill, you could risk frostbite. Icy roads also get slippery, increasing your risk of a dangerous fall.
Your Car Is a Safe Place
Consider your car a safe place while you’re waiting for rescue or for the snowstorm to pass. Your car should naturally be warmer than outside temperatures. However, if a significant amount of time passes, you may need to rely on your car’s heater to support your body temperature. Only keep your car running as long as you need to stay warm and open a window slightly to prevent carbon monoxide gas from entering your vehicle.
Keep in mind that letting your car run by the side of the road will drain your battery and prevent you from moving when travel conditions become safer. At zero degrees, a good battery’s starting power is already depleted by 35 percent, so conserving its power during the winter is important.
Even in a severe snowstorm, abandoning your car is rarely the right move. Carefully consider the reasons against leaving your car and choose this option only in extreme emergencies. Remember, if forecasters predict snowstorms, stay home so you can avoid being on the road in the first place.