AAA: 61K calls and counting, with snow, more cold, on the way
More than 61,000 AAA Mid-Atlantic members across the auto club’s five-state and Washington, D.C. region called AAA Mid-Atlantic for emergency roadside service over the 10-day year-end holiday travel period, a 25 percent increase over the anticipated call volume of 49,000, based on last year’s figure for the time frame.
Busiest day of the holiday period was Friday, December 29. Tows, battery-related issues and flat tires were the primary reasons for roadside assistance.
With anticipated colder weather and the threat of snow this week, AAA is advising motorists to prepare their vehicles now in hopes to avoid any future breakdowns.
“Record breaking frigid temperatures in Richmond resulted in thousands of calls for emergency roadside service yesterday,” said Tammy Arnette, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for AAA. “The number one reason for calls to AAA was for cars that would not start. The extreme cold quickly drains a car battery and if it is more than three years old, have it tested and replaced if necessary.”
AAA is reminding motorists to make sure that they have a fully charged phone on hand whenever they leave home, even for a short distance, also to have a full tank of gas and a stocked emergency kit that includes extra warm clothing, a blanket, jumper cables, abrasive material (kitty litter), shovel, flares, snow brush and extra food/snacks and medicine for children or senior passengers.
Why the Extreme Call Volume?
- The cold puts extreme stress on batteries.
- Most batteries last 3-5 years.
- The cold has a cumulative effect, so every day of the extreme cold is more stressful on the battery than the day before.
- Tires need more air pressure when it’s cold.
- Tires that are not properly inflated are more likely to sustain a flat or blowout.
- Vehicles that sit idle over extended period.