HARTFORD, CT (January 31, 2021) – After several days of responding to thousands of Emergency Roadside calls triggered by the extreme cold, AAA is now gearing up for a further increase in call volume because of snow.
Calls for dead batteries in particular have been higher than usual because more vehicles are sitting idle for days or weeks at a time because of COVID-19.
“The cold has been killing car batteries for days and now AAA expects the snow to ‘pile on’ to the number of calls we get from stranded members,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford. “AAA is encouraging anyone who can stay home during the height of the storm to do so. For those who must be on the road, it is critical that their vehicles are winter road ready and that they take every precaution to get where they are going as safely as possible.”
AAA is expecting dead batteries, tire issues and tows will dominate the call volume.
AAA Offers These Winter Weather Driving Tips:
According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, winter storms, bad weather and sloppy road conditions are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than 2,000 road deaths every winter.
- Slow down – whenever there’s a change in conditions, it’s critical that all drivers adjust their driving behaviors accordingly
- Drive Defensively – increase following distance, which will allow more time to react if you or the driver in front of you loses control
- Limit distractions – always. But in bad weather, drivers should be looking ahead in anticipation of any unexpected changes in road conditions or traffic.
- Never use cruise control – drivers want to maintain full control of vehicle when roads are wet or snow covered
- Turn on headlights – so you can see and be seen
- If you do skid or lose control, always look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to be headed
AAA is reminding all motorist to make sure their vehicles are winter road ready.
AAA Car Care Tips:
Check Battery - Starting an engine in cold temperatures can take up to twice as much current as needed under normal conditions. The average battery lasts 3-5 years in New England
- Have the battery and charging system tested by a trained technician.
- Make sure the battery terminals and cable ends are free from corrosion and the connections are tight.
- Check tire pressure - colder weather typically requires increasing tire pressure. Make sure pressure levels match those found in either the owner’s manual or on the driver’s door jamb, and note that pressure levels may be different for front and rear tire.
- Check tire tread – test tread depth twith a quarter. If all of Washington’s head can be seen, time for new tires.
- Spare tires – motorists should know whether their vehicle comes with a spare tire (many newer cars do not). This helps AAA know whether to send a light service vehicle (to put on the spare) or a tow truck for a vehicle without a spare.
Check Wiper Blades - The blades should completely clear the glass with each swipe. Replace any blade that leaves streaks or misses spots.
Check Washer Fluid - Fill the windshield washer fluid reservoir with a winter cleaning solution that has antifreeze components to prevent it from freezing.
AAA Offers FREE BATTERY and TIRE TESTING
- AAA provides FREE battery and tire testing for members at home or at work.
- AAA offers FREE battery and tire testing for members and non-members alike at any of our AAA Car Care locations (755 Queen St, Southington) or any AAA Approved Auto Repair.
Prepare Winter Emergency Kit
“Emergency supplies should always include whatever you would need to keep you - and your passengers - safe and warm while waiting for help to arrive”, Parmenter says. “And this year, that emergency kit should include a few extra masks, to ensure everyone can safely interact with anyone who comes to the rescue”.
Recommended Winter Emergency Kit:
- Masks/gloves/hand sanitizer
- Fully charged cellphone programmed with roadside rescue apps
- car charger and/or external battery for your phone
- bag of sand, cat litter, rock salt or traction mats
- wiper fluid, windshield de-icer
- flashlight with extra batteries
- first-aid kit
- windshield scraper and brush
- emergency flares or reflectors
- battery booster cables
- small shovel
- blankets, extra gloves, hats, scarves and socks
- hand/foot warmers
- drinking water and non-perishable snacks (protein bars, granola bars, pretzels, crackers)