A car stuck in snow and ice could be stuck in a parking lot for up to 10 hours before being towed, said Wayne Smith, director of public safety for the Michigan Department of Transportation.
Smith said it’s best to get out of the snow and start driving again before your vehicle is stuck.
“It’s best for everyone involved if they just get out and let their vehicle sit in the lot,” Smith said.
If your car is trapped and you can’t get it out, call 911.
Transportation department staff is working to find the car and tow it to a suitable location, but you may be able to negotiate a tow fee with the owner.
When is a car stuck?
You should always call 911 and get out the vehicle and tell the operator you are trapped.
The operator will then call the police.
If your vehicle has already been towed and your vehicle remains stuck, you may need to call 911 again, said Smith.
He advises you to call 311 if you’re stuck in ice or snow and that a tow truck is not available.
What if my vehicle is trapped?
The emergency vehicle may come and go, but it may stay for longer than 10 hours.
The vehicle is most likely stuck because it is stuck on the frozen ground and/or ice and ice chips, according to Smith.
If the vehicle has been towed but is still stuck, the operator may be reluctant to get it removed because the owner may not want to pay the tow fee, Smith said, but that can be negotiated.
Do I need a lift?
Smith said the best way to get your vehicle towed is to call the transportation department and tell them you have an emergency.
If you do, they will give you a tow vehicle and you will be able get out, he said.
If not, you should call 911 or the Michigan State Police to ask for help.
How do I know when to leave my vehicle?
If you are stuck, take it to the nearest emergency vehicle and let them know you need assistance.
The transportation department may be unable to provide help in the case of a disabled vehicle, Smith added.
Smith said that while a tow does not remove the ice and snow, it will clear it.
If you want to leave your vehicle, you can take it with you to a tow station, but the transportation agency should provide a way for you to get to a nearby tow truck.