Rockford tow truck operators give tips on getting a car out of the snow

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Driving in the snow can be a chore; especially if you end up stuck and can't get out.

To avoid calling a tow truck, there are steps you can take to get your car out of the snow.

Local towing companies say the first thing to do is to turn off the car's traction control system. They say this will free up the wheels allowing them to spin freely while preventing them from locking.

The second thing to do is clear a path around your tires. Starting from the front, clear a path long enough for the wheels to move forward and back a few feet. You should also clear snow from the tailpipe as well before starting the engine to avoid carbon monoxide build-up in the car.

Next, put the car in the lowest gear and move forward and back to rock the car free. Tow truck operators say you will get the best traction if your steering wheel is straight.

Spreading sand and cat litter in front of and behind tires can improve traction and help you to gain momentum. If you don't have either of those things use your floor mats to get traction.

Tow truck operators say you can get a better grip by letting a little air out of your tires. They say once the car is free, drive somewhere with less snow that will allow you to safely stop.

In case you have to wait to get help, make sure your car is stocked with supplies like blankets, gloves and hats.