Car Stuck in Ditch? Here's What to Do

March 8, 2024

Even if you are a well-trained driver who specializes in defensive driving skills, it is still possible that you will get stuck in a ditch. The reasons could be numerous, including bad weather, reckless mistakes, intoxicated driving, and other factors. Getting stuck in a ditch is not only frustrating but also puts you at risk for injury and potential damage to your vehicle. Fortunately, you can do a few things to help pull your car out of the ditch.

The first thing you should do if you have skidded off the road is to check if everyone in the car is unharmed. Then, you should take several minutes to observe your surroundings and ensure that you are not in the path of ongoing traffic. It is also important to turn on your hazard lights, so you can signal to other drivers to stay away from your vehicle.

After assessing your location and ensuring that you are not in the way of traffic, you can try to drive out of the ditch by removing excess weight from your vehicle. It is essential to have traction to get your car out of the ditch, so pouring sand around your tires might be a good idea. You can also use kitty litters, flattened cardboard boxes, or your floor mats for additional traction.

If you are not able to maneuver your car out of the ditch after trying a few of the tips above, you should contact a professional winch out service for immediate assistance. These companies have the right rigs and wenches to extract your vehicle quickly and safely, without causing any more damage to your vehicle or jeopardizing your safety.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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