Cumberland, ME (NEWS CENTER)--With temperatures below zero, it's important to be prepared. Should your car go off the road in heavy snow, wait for rescue.
NEWS CENTER reporter Bill Green put this theory to the test. With a half a tank of gas, he drove his car into a snow bank. He then spent the night in the car using less than a quarter of a tank of gasoline.
His strategy was to first assess his resources. Since his car is a pig-sty, he had many. However, he had no food and water.
The first hour, Bill ran his engine and determined that he used less than an 1/8 of a tank of gas per hour. He then went on a cycle in which he would heat the car, turn the engine off and take a cat nap. When the cold awakened him, he repeated the process.
It turned out to be about an hourly process.
He also filled an empty soda bottle with snow, let it melt and repeated the process. He was able to have a couple of cups of water this way.
While there was no danger in this controlled environment, it was a learning exercise for Bill. He reports that he was extremely tired by the next morning and he was colder than he thought, When he reviewed the video tape he was was more debilitated than he thought.
However, he was most interested in how much gas one would use if forced to stay in the car overnight. While various vehicles would differ, the answer seems to be about a quarter of a tank and that's good information to know.