Spun Out On An Icy Road?: Three Ways To Get Your Car Back Out Of The Ditch

In the last couple of years, states that have rarely, if ever, seen snow, freezing rain and ice have experienced these weather conditions more often. If you live in Georgia, Texas, Northern Florida or any other Southern state that experienced winter weather this year, you were probably surprised by the number of cars that spun out into ditches on the sides of the roads. If this ever happens to you, there are three ways you can get your car out of the ditch and back onto the road (none of which are easy).

Pull/Drive out on Your Own

If your car did not slide too far into the ditch or the ditch is not that deep/steep, you may be able to drive yourself back out again. This is especially true if the front of your vehicle is facing the road off of which you just slid. (Do not attempt this if the nose of your vehicle is pointed down into the ditch because you could end up even more stuck than you already are.)

If your car is facing up and out, slowly apply the gas pedal to see if the car will move forward on its own. If it does inch out of the ditch, keep going. Only apply more pressure to the gas pedal once all four tires have touched the road again, and even then be careful or you may end up in the ditch again. Gunning the gas in the ditch may only cause your tires to spin and dig ruts, so only gun the gas in the ditch if you have other drivers behind your car trying to push you out.

Pull out with the Help of a Friend's Truck and a Winch/Chains

If you have a good friend who has a pickup truck, a winch and some chains, call him or her to come help. Usually, he or she may help others out of thick mud or sands the rest of the year, but the principle and the machinery are the same in snow and with ice too. Just hook your car up to the truck and either let the winch pull you out or let the power of your friend's pickup and the chains do the work.


If you do not have a friend with a pickup or he/she is unavailable, call a tow truck company like Jim's Garage Inc. Getting people out of ditches in snowstorms is what towing trucks in the north do, so they absolutely can manage it where you live. Additionally, a tow truck will have even more pull power than the average pickup, so you may just want to call a tow truck first before you try the other methods.