Here’s the situation. The weather report said rain and it was supposed to be in the mid-30s so I figured I would get home at a decent hour. However, I got caught up doing work and when I stepped outside it was freezing rain. I tried to walk to my car but couldn’t make it more than one or two steps without sliding. My right foot is in a cast shoe and I am terrified of falling after midnight in a dark parking lot and being unable to get up again. I have nothing like sand or kitty litter in the office to sprinkle on the ice to walk on it. I am also afraid that even if I reach my car it will be dangerous to drive, since rain over ice is the worst situation I know. Am I totally screwed? Do I need to sleep in the office? Any ideas?
Look up the local police department regular phone number, and tell them of your plight and ask for advice. Don’t call 911 as it’s not an emergency.
Alternatively, call your car insurance company or AAA if you have roadside assistance. They may be able to get you a tow set up to your house.
schools full of kids had to overnight in their schools with these recent storms.
if you don’t want to risk it stay put.
If you find yourself driving home (and I don’t suggest you should, if you’re so worried, although I personally would drive) drive slow. Like, really slow. I mean, slower that you even reasonably think that you should. Take special care on curves and at stoplights and stop signs. I’ve seen people slide through stop signs, miss the cross-traffic, and smash into someone on the other side. Leave four times as much space to stop as you think you ought to. Take surface streets, not freeways. Honk as you go through crossings. When you’ve got lots of clear, straight road, brake sharply and test the conditions so you know what it takes to stop your car. Seriously, if you’re going to drive, take every unreasonable precaution you can think of, and ignore the jackasses that honk at you. And if you’re not sure, don’t drive!
I think a lot depends on your vehicle. Is it set up for driving on ice? How much experience do you have driving on ice? Is your vehicle AWD or 4 wheel drive? What tires do you have?
Is a taxi available to you? Can you get a room nearby?
So. Did you make it? What happened?
If you find yourself in this situation again, do you have trash bags at work? Put them under your butt (to keep you dry) & crabwalk to your car; or under your knees & crawl. It’s much harder to fall & hurt yourself when you’re already at ground level.
When you get to your car, test stopping conditions in the wide open parking lot where you won’t hit anything if you do slide. Then just drive really slow, choosing major roads even though it may be a longer distance as they are more likely to be treated.
IF only they did this then I’d go out drinking on a lot more Saturday nights without having to worry about about a DUI or how to reunite with my car the next day after a taxi ride home! Besides it much tougher driving with something in tow than just one vehicle.
Update-AAA won’t tow a car for weather. In fact, they state on their site that they won’t even winch out a car stuck in the snow.
Anyway-the driving worried me less than walking to my car. I have horrible balance anyway and I was most worried about falling in the parking lot and not being able to get up on a sheet of ice. If I could have reached my car, I probably would have tried to drive home.
Anyway, I ended up springing for a cab that would come right to my door and take me home and then i had my mother give me a ride this morning. I wasn’t completely crazy, though. One of my coworkers slipped on the ice outside the office and has been limping pretty badly. Luckily, my 98 year old patient was a no-show since I was sure she would break a hip.
If you anticipate this sort of thing happening again, where you’d have to walk on the ice, you might want to invest in a pair of grippers or cleats or chains that you can wear over your shoes—something like this or this.
I’m glad you’re safe!
I had to look this up since I know friends on a tricky driveway have had AAA come out a few times. Maybe it is a matter of whether they consider the car “accessible”.
Snow and mud conditions: Emergency Roadside Service is provided only if the car is accessible and can be reached safely. Cars on inaccessible unplowed streets, back roads, or unplowed driveways will not be serviced until the vehicle is accessible. Priority will be given to cars that have skidded and/or become stuck on highways in severe snowstorms. Installation of snow tires or chains will not be covered.
Most people I know own Yaktrax, and while they’re really good, you should be aware that it’s still possible for it to be icy enough to slip while wearing them. It doesn’t happen often, but don’t be tempted to go running around like on an iceless day.
Don’t allow yourself another next time.
Glad you made it home safe.
Too bad I didn’t see this last night. I would have suggested using an office chair with wheels as a walker, then just put it in the back seat. Maybe next time.
For future reference, you can get pretty good emergency traction on ice by putting your socks on outside your shoes.