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Jana Tidwell
Public Relations Manager, PA
O: (302) 299-4426
C: (302) 353-6563

Kathleen Zinszer
Sr. Public Aff. Specialist, CT/DE/NJ/PA
O: (302) 299-4168
C: (610) 291-7312

AAA Mid-Atlantic: Cold Calls - AAA Braving Frigid Cold Temps to Rescue More than 15,000 Motorists since the Year-End Holiday Period Began

PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 2, 2018) – More than 15,000 members in the Philadelphia 5-county area have called AAA Mid-Atlantic for emergency roadside service since December 23 and AAA says today could be the busiest day yet as most people head back to work (or try to!) after the long holiday weekend.


“The day after a long weekend is typically busier than average. Add to that the record number of people whose vehicles sat idle while they were away for the year-end holiday…and the bitter cold…and it is possible we could get thousands of calls today alone,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Our rescue teams continue to brave the bitterly cold outside temperatures to get to our members as quickly and safely as possible.”


Roadside Assistance Stats – Philadelphia 5-County Area


January 2, 2018 (as of 11:30 a.m.) – Philadelphia 5-County Area

  • AAA Mid-Atlantic has responded to 1,133 member calls for assistance

  • 671 or 59% have been for dead batteries

  • 145 or 13% have been for flat tires

  • A combined 72% of calls to AAA have been for dead car batteries and flat tires


Dec. 23 – Jan. 1 Philadelphia 5-county area

  • AAA Mid-Atlantic responded to more than 15,000 member calls for roadside assistance

  • 41 percent of calls (6,176) made to AAA Mid-Atlantic were for dead batteries

  • 17 percent of calls (2,567) made to AAA Mid-Atlantic were for flat tires

  • December 29 had the highest call volume day in December with 2,110 calls; 902 calls for dead car batteries and 336 calls for flat tires.


Why is cold weather so hard on car batteries and tires?

  • When temperatures dip down, AAA always sees a spike in roadside assistance calls for dead car batteries.

  • At 32°F, a car’s battery loses about 35 percent of its strength.

  • At 0°F, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength.

  • Starting an engine in cold temperatures can take up to twice as much current as needed under normal conditions.

  • The cold has a cumulative effect so every day of the extreme cold is more stressful on the battery than the day before.
  • Warning signs that you are at risk for a battery related breakdown include the following:

    • You hear a grinding or clicking sound when you turn on the ignition

    • Your vehicle cranks slowly when attempting to start

    • Your headlights dim when idling but brighten when the engine is revved

    • Your battery is more than three (3) years old

  • Tires need more air pressure when it’s cold
  • Tires that are not properly inflated are more likely to sustain a flat or blowout

“It is critical that drivers take every precaution, plan and prepare for the possibility of being stranded roadside for an extended period of time,” Tidwell says. “AAA is again 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 vehicle emergency kit that includes extra warm clothing, a blanket and extra food/snacks.”


FREE BATTERY CHECKS – AAA offers FREE battery checks for members and non-members at all of our AAA Car Care Centers (visit for to find a AAA Car Care Center near you)


Looking for a good deal on a replacement battery? A battery replacement benefit is available to AAA Premier Members. Should your battery fail, call AAA.  We will come to you, replace your battery on the spot, free of charge (see membership benefits for details).


Follow us on Twitter: @AAAPhillyNews

Mailing Address:
7777 Brewster Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19159

AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania.  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

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