How to Get Your Car Out of a Ditch

How to Get Your Car Out of a Ditch

By Ursula Nizalowski

 

While taking a drive somewhere, it’s common to find ditches on the side of the road which are
used to drain excess rainwater from the road’s surface so cars don’t slip on it. They also
“prevent any small collapses that might appear on the roads” says OnTheRoad magazine.
Because if enough water builds underneath a road it will start eroding and eventually collapse.
So by diverting the water away from the road, the ditches actually help roads last longer.
Unfortunately, ditches can be hazardous to drivers who accidentally drive off the road into them
since they might get stuck. If one does end up in a ditch, here are some tips on what to do.

Assess the Situation
Whether it was due to human error or the weather, it’s a good idea to check on everyone
in the car to make sure there are no severe injuries in the aftermath of crashing into a ditch.
Otherwise it would necessitate getting medical attention immediately to prevent the injuries from
getting worse. And then there’s the matter of getting one’s bearings to figure out what needs to
be done to get the car out of the ditch and back on the road in a calm manner. Because while it is
understandable to panic, being calm arguably helps make the process to finding a solution to the
problem easier.

Adjust Car Weight Depending on Conditions
Dry – If the ditch is made of dry soil or concrete, driving out should be easy due to the
lack of obstacles for traction. And since “A lighter vehicle is easier to maneuver” according to
Zore’s Inc. towing service, it would be a good idea to remove any excess items such as
passengers and luggage before trying to get the car out of the ditch. Then all one needs to do is
press on the gas pedal, but not slam it to prevent the wheels from spinning.

Wet – Ditches that are full of mud, snow, or water tend to be difficult to drive out of due
to the looseness of the wet substances-in-question which creates less traction for the car. But
they’re not impossible to escape from if the car gains more traction. This can be accomplished
by adding more weight to the car and putting something around the car’s tires like sand or floor
mats to give the car the force it needs to get out.

Alert Others

Turn On Hazard Lights – Before trying to get the car out of the ditch, it wouldn’t
hurt to turn on the car’s hazard lights first. The benefit to this is it will “alert other drivers to
your whereabouts and also help any emergency vehicles or tow trucks that you may have called
find your car” Toyota of Orlando says. So it prevents further accidents and aids emergency
workers in getting to the car quicker.

Call a Tow Truck – Depending on how stuck the car is, trying to get it out of the ditch
alone may not be enough. In this scenario, it’s always best to call for help since the professionals
usually know what to do. Otherwise, continuing to get it unstuck without professional help
could seriously damage the car’s frame or bumpers if one isn’t careful.

For any further questions about what to do in a ditch-related accident, feel free to contact
attorney Rick Wagner.