Stuck in the Ditch? What Should You Do?

By: Phil Dinges Email
By: Phil Dinges Email

The Wisconsin State Patrol says it had a busy day responding to plenty of cars and trucks stuck in ditches. On nights like Tuesday night, it can be a white knuckle ride as you try to keep your vehicle from sliding out of control, but what do you do if you do find yourself in a ditch?

Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer says if you are in a ditch you should sit tight but he says the most important thing is being prepared in case of an emergency.

Snow and ice make for dangerous driving conditions and drivers need to check the weather.

"If Wisconsin ROAD WIS is recommending don’t travel, make other arrangement" says Cramer.

Sometimes you have no choice but to drive, so Cramer says to preplan and call ahead “so that if you don’t arrive that people can check your route for you."

But if you get stuck Cramer says to stay buckled up and call for help. "Stay where you are at with the four-way flashers on. If you're out on the interstate don't get out and walk especially if it's snowing because the visibility little or none."

He says trying to rock your car out can cause even more problems. "If you think you're close and you can get back up on the pavement and it pulls you out across the lane of traffic then you're creating a hazardous situation obviously."

He says your main priority should be to stay warm until help arrives. "You may have to shut the car off for a little bit to conserve on gasoline. The candle, have matches have a kit so that you can at least have some warmth in the car if you run out of gas."

And Cramer says even while thinking safety you also need to think finances. "Make sure that you've got a credit card that's widely accepted with you in case you have to stay over or the interstate closes."

Cramer says another tip is to make your vehicle noticeable by popping the hood or tying a flag onto your antenna. He also says to just use common sense, slow down when driving and if the roads are bad, stay off them.

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