HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Hundreds of vehicles were abandoned and other drivers stranded after winter weather across the valley Monday.
But what should you do if you find yourself stranded on the roadway as a result of icy conditions?
Officials say you should safely pull your car off the road and make yourself more noticeable to other drivers and potential rescuers by turning on hazard lights, setting up safety flares, or tying a brightly colored cloth to your antenna or door handle.
Authorities say you should never abandon your vehicle — it’s better to stay inside rather than expose yourself to the elements. The National Weather Service (NWS) recommends running the car in short, 10-minute bursts every hour.
However, some stranded on Monday night chose to walk to safety.
“I was coming up this side of the mountain trying to go towards Jones Valley and people were coming up in a line,” said Andria Matthews, who abandoned her vehicle in Huntsville Monday.
“It was going okay and the further up we got, it started getting slushier and icier, and we all kind of just stopped where we were, put our cars in park, [and put on] my emergency brake,” Matthews said. “There was this really nice kid who had a big ole truck, and I had a friend come pick me up.”
If you do leave your car behind due to an icy crash, insurance agents say those crashes will be covered by collision insurance.
“It is covered as long as you have the required collision and comprehensive coverage,” explained Tony Hodge with Allstate. “Comprehension [usually covers when] incidents happen when not operating the vehicle.”
As of Tuesday evening, all roads in Huntsville were open — however, some shady portions of roads could still have small patches of ice.