Clear a path in front of the wheels for several feet by either driving the vehicle frontward and backward or by shoveling snow out of the way. With wheels pointed straight, shift into drive (manual transmissions) and apply gentle pressure to accelerator. Try to ease out of parking space without spinning the wheels.
If more traction is needed, use traction mats or spread some sand, salt, or other abrasive material such as cat litter in front of and in back of the drive wheels. Do not let anyone stand directly in line with the drive wheels, as they may be injured by objects thrown by the spinning wheels.
If these techniques do not work, you may have to rock the vehicle out of the rut. Start with the vehicle in low gear (manual transmissions). When the vehicle will go no farther forward, release the accelerator to allow the car to roll backward. When the vehicle stops rolling back, apply minimum pressure to the accelerator again. Repeat these steps in rapid succession.
Following Other Vehicles
Normal dry pavement following distance (2-3 seconds) should be increased to 8-10 seconds when driving on slippery, icy surfaces. Minimize brake use on icy hills; opt for gentle, slow brake application (squeeze braking) to avoid locking the wheels and skidding.
A skid occurs when you apply the brakes so hard that one or more wheels lock, or if you press hard on the accelerator and spin the drive wheels. Skids also occur when you are traveling too fast on a curve and encounter a slippery surface. There are some basic steps you can take to help correct the most common type of skids, known as rear-wheel skids. If your rear wheels skid due to hard or panic braking, do the following:
- Don't brake. Don't jerk the steering wheel. Most important, don't panic.
- Shift into neutral gear (manual transmission).
- Look and steer in the direction you want the front of the vehicle to go. As the wheels stop skidding toward the right or left, counter-steer until you are going in the desired direction.
- Wait for the wheels to grip the road again. If you over-correct the first skid, be prepared for a skid in the opposite direction.
- As soon as the wheels regain traction, the vehicle will travel in the desired direction. Once the vehicle is straight, shift back into drive and apply gentle accelerator pressure. Accelerate smoothly to a safe speed.