• Dec 24, 2008
Mother Nature has hit the deep freeze button again, and that means getting stuck in a snowstorm is not such a wild improbability for some of us. If you can't stay off the roads and happen to find yourself immobile once you get on them, PEMCO Insurance has a brief guide for what do if you absolutely must abandon your car. Perhaps the most important advice is to always carry some emergency winter clothes and supplies with you, like flares and blankets, which could come in handy even if you don't get permanently stuck. You'll especially want to make the car as visible as possible so that others can avoid hitting it. You can read the full guide after the jump, and be careful out there this holiday season.

[Source: PEMCO]

PRESS RELEASE

Washington Drivers: The Right Way to Abandon Your Car in a Snow Storm

PEMCO Insurance offers tips on what to do when you must leave your car

SEATTLE, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As Washington braces for another possible snowstorm tonight and through the weekend, some drivers will take the risky step of abandoning their vehicles, unable to maneuver through the ice and snow.

According to PEMCO Insurance, one of Washington's largest auto insurers, drivers should know there's a right way -- and a wrong way -- to abandon a vehicle when weather conditions dictate.

Jon Osterberg, PEMCO spokesperson, recommends that people inexperienced at driving in snow and ice avoid the problem by staying off the roads during winter storms. "Drivers should decide whether they need to be on the road in the first place. But we recognize there are times when the weather turns quickly and circumstances demand that you must drive."

When a driver becomes stranded on the road, PEMCO suggests staying with the car if you safely can. "If there's a chance a tow truck or other help is coming, stay with your vehicle. Leaving it in the roadway presents many risks," Osterberg said.

For example, if drivers leave their vehicle on a route that's usually kept open for emergency traffic, it can be towed, especially if it presents a danger to other drivers.

"Towing charges can be steep, and abandoned-car towing fees typically aren't covered by insurance," he said.

Abandoned cars also run a higher risk of being involved in hit-and-run collisions in snowy weather. Heavy snowfall can obscure a car or place it where others are likely to slide into it. According to Osterberg, hit-and-run damage typically subjects drivers to a higher deductible when the car is repaired.

PEMCO recommends the following tips for drivers who must abandon their vehicle:

-- Try to get as far off the traveled roadway as you safely can.
-- Turn on your flashers, and leave them on. A dead battery is better than causing an accident for which you could be held responsible.
-- Set out flares to warn other drivers, if you can safely do so.
-- Make a reasoned judgment about whether to remain with the vehicle and call for help, or to strike out on your own. Some factors to consider are your health, clothing for the weather, distance to the nearest help, and likelihood of your vehicle being hit while you're inside it.
-- Leave a note in the window with your contact information. That improves your chance of hearing from someone who hits your vehicle, or from the authorities.
-- Take your most valuable items with you.
-- Be sure to remove personal information that could allow a thief to locate your home and loved ones, steal your identity, or otherwise defraud you.
-- Secure the vehicle by setting the emergency brake and locking the doors. Professional towing companies know how to safely tow your vehicle.
-- You can prevent having to abandon a vehicle by monitoring the weather before a storm hits. But if you're unavoidably caught in a snowstorm, be prepared. Proper snow tires and/or chains will help you maneuver
through snow and ice. Keep emergency winter clothes and supplies in your vehicle to buy you time and protection.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Setting your emergency brake in freezing weather isn't recommended because the cable mechanism can freeze making it impossible to release the park brake.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Stay home.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wait abandon what? Why not just drive it home? Guess that awd in my blazer has a purpose.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1 about the majority of vehicles in ditches (here in WI too) being AWD/4X4 SUVs and trucks.

        But then again I've been driving like an ass in my Subaru in this mess, turning neighborhoods into drift parks, and parking lots into donut playgrounds.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That is why the vast majority of vehicles I see stuck on the side of the highway here in SE Michigan are AWD or 4X4.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "post #5 up above he clearly says his 'newly swapped V8'. an AWD S-10 Blazer with the original 4.3L V6 is easily swapped to any number of V8s. so that would get you AWD and a V8. and not be FOUR wheel drive."

        Of course! Why DIDN'T I check unrelated reply trees on the off chance they contained supplemental information about people's cars?! Ugh, i'm such a n00b.

        And unfortunately, an engine swap technically requires the recipient car to exist in the first place. If Chevy ever MADE an AWD Blazer, I'm sure you could do it, but according to Wikipedia, they didn't. Whoopsies!

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_S-10_Blazer

        Perhaps you are posting from an alternate universe where Chevy did use AWD instead of 4WD. Or perhaps Wikipedia is wrong.

        More likely, however, perhaps you should use better research methods than simply Googling "AWD BLAZER" and trusting the 4000 rednecks listing their trucks / posting to car forums to have accurately indicated the drivetrain.

        Reading comprehension is your friend, but it's really no substitute for actual research. Take care!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Your Blazer has FOUR-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive. There is a fairly significant difference. Your V8 says you've got a K5 Blazer, and you seriously think that beast is sporting AWD?

        I hate to nitpick, but this is Drivetrain 101 stuff we're talking here. That doesn't exactly speak to your credibilty in the category of snow driving.

        Perhaps you're one of the people who should just be staying home.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @JuniorMint
        GM did make AWD/Turbo Typhoons and Syclones which for all intents and purposes are variants of the 4.3 V6 Blazer. As to why you would swap the 4.3 turbo for a v8 are beyond me, but its incorrect to say that GM never made a AWD Blazer.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_Typhoon
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Your Blazer has FOUR-wheel drive, not all-wheel drive. There is a fairly significant difference. Your V8 says you've got a K5 Blazer, and you seriously think that beast is sporting AWD?"

        post #5 up above he clearly says his 'newly swapped V8'. an AWD S-10 Blazer with the original 4.3L V6 is easily swapped to any number of V8s. so that would get you AWD and a V8. and not be FOUR wheel drive.

        reading comprehension is your friend. try it out sometime.
      • 6 Years Ago
      G-Meister should not be doing any winter driving if he is using drugs otherwise up here in Canada they can DRAG your butt off to jail for driving under the influence. Being DRAGGED off to jail and having your vehicle DRAGGED off the street is a real possibility. I think we should DRAG G-Meister off to spelling rehab to ponder his grievous mistakes against the kings English.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Leave a note in the window with your contact information.


      Be sure to remove personal information that could allow a thief to locate your home


      Wait..what?!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah, that part totally makes sense...*insert sarcasm*
        • 6 Years Ago
        contact info like a cellphone and name, not home address (what are the police going going to do send you a letter saying they are going to tow your car? Having your name is enough because they can check your plates)
      • 6 Years Ago
      4x4 will stuck there nobody can help you out...;)
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