How to stay safe if your car breaks down

MADISON, Wis. - We've all seen it: You're driving in a winter storm and you see a car stranded on the shoulder; maybe that's even been you.

If you do get stranded the Wisconsin Department of Health Services has some easy steps you can take to make the situation infinitely safer. 

Keep a storage box. Fill it with blankets, food, water, flashlights, and a first-aid kit. Have blankets, batteries, phone chargers, maps and a shovel and jumper cables on hand.

If you do get stranded stay in your car until help arrives. You're going to want to run the motor for about 10 minutes each hour for heat. Make sure your exhaust pipe and radiator are not blocked by the snow. Crack a window ever so slightly to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Stay active by moving your arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep your blood circulating and to keep warm.

Be sure to stay visible to potential rescuers. Keep your dome light on when the engine is running. After the snow stops falling make sure to pop your hood, which will indicate to people that you are having car trouble.

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