Public Affairs Manager, CT
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AAA Responded to Almost 85,000 Emergency Calls this Winter
(And, despite what the calendar says, it’s not over yet!)
AAA call volume this winter is up 10% over last winter – just in the Greater Hartford area alone. And, though the calendar now indicates that winter is over, the forecast suggests drivers may still be slipping and sliding and getting stuck in the snow.
In fact, the timing of the 4th Nor’easter in three weeks may pose a greater risk to drivers across the state than the previous storms because more commuters could be on the roads during the heaviest snowfall.
“This has been a particularly taxing winter for drivers here in Connecticut given the extended stretch of cold weather, an unusually early pothole season and now one nor’easter after another” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. “The surest way for motorists to avoid further expense would be to stay off the roads until the storm has passed and the roadways are clear”.
And it's not just a matter of saving money. Previous research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety determined that adverse weather is a factor in more than a million crashes annually nationwide and more than 5000 deaths.
Connecticut's Winter Weather Woes, By the Numbers
AAA emergency rescue crews responded to almost 85,000 calls for help this winter. (December 21st, 2017 and March 19, 2018) More than 60,000 of those calls were for dead batteries and tows.
In an effort to ensure everyone's safety, AAA is encouraging those who are able to do so, to plan to be off the roads BEFORE conditions worsen, which can happen quickly. And, if drivers find themselves with limited visibility, AAA urges them to pull off the roadway as soon as it is safely possible to do so.
As always, AAA Emergency Rescue crews will respond to members as quickly and safely as possible.
For those who must be on the road, AAA offers the following safe driving tips:
- Slow down: accelerate, turn and brake gradually. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself ample room to stop. Allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Increase following distance: normal following distances of three to four seconds on dry pavement should be extended to a minimum of eight to ten seconds when driving on slippery surfaces. The extra time will provide additional braking room should a sudden stop become necessary.
- Watch the traffic ahead: slow down immediately at the sight of brake lights, fishtailing cars, sideways skids or emergency flashers ahead.
- Never use cruise control on slippery roads: patches of ice can cause unexpected wheel spin and use of cruise control can slow driver response.
- Move Over: move over one lane for law enforcement and emergency roadside personnel assisting motorists. It is the law. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
- Carry a winter weather kit in your car: contents should include a fully charged cellphone (and car charger), ice scraper, blanket, warm winter clothing, flashlight with extra batteries, jumper cables, a bag of kitty litter, reflective triangles/flares, shovel and cloth/paper towels.
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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.