Public Affairs Manager, CT
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Get It While It’s ‘Hot’
AAA Encouraging Cold-Weather Car Check Before Deep Freeze
With the forecast calling for several days of single-digit temperatures and a record number of motorists traveling over the year-end holiday, AAA is urging drivers to take every step today to make sure their cars are ready for tomorrow…and the frigid week ahead.
“Being stuck along the side of the road is inconvenient at any time of year but at this time of year, in the extreme cold, it is potentially unsafe for drivers and passengers alike,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “No one should be leaving their homes, or the homes they are visiting over the holiday, in a vehicle that is not winter ready”.
Primarily, AAA says, this means ensuring that your vehicle’s battery is in good working condition and that the tires are properly inflated for colder temperatures.
From Bad to Worse
As an example of just how taxing cold weather can be, by mid-day today AAA in Greater Hartford had responded to more than 600 calls, many from members whose cars sat idle over the long holiday weekend. No doubt call volume will top 1000 by days end.
“We’ve been getting more than 100 calls an hour since 8am – and, given the forecast, it’s only going to get worse as the week goes on,” Parmenter says.
AAA is not only encouraging motorists to prepare, the auto club is gearing up for the deep freeze as well, ordering extra batteries and calling in additional staff.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Cold
1.Make sure your tires are inflated for cold weather
- A ‘cold weather pressure’ is typically posted on a sticker inside the driver’s door.
- Tires need more pressure when it is cold and under inflated tires are more likely to sustain a blow out or flat.
2.Make sure you battery is strong.
- It takes a battery twice as much power to start a vehicle when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Most batteries last 3-5 years so any battery more than 3 years old is at risk.
3.Stock a Cold Weather Emergency Kit
- Most important is fully charged cellphone so you can call for help
- Extra charger
- Extra coat, gloves, hats, blanket
- Flare or flashlight with additional batteries so you can see and be seen – especially at night
- Shovel, Ice scraper, de-icer
- Kitty litter or abrasive materials
And, of course, AAA is reminding all motorists to make sure their AAA memberships are up to date.
Given the extreme cold, AAA is offering additional membership discounts through Dec 31 with use of the PROMO CODE 'SAFETY". (Only available in stores in Greater Hartford)
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.