AAA Braces for Busy Week
One-Two Punch Expected to 'Knock Out' Many Motorists
HARTFORD, CT, (March 3, 2019) - A significant snow storm followed by a significant drop in temperatures has AAA gearing up for a busy week.
"The Monday morning commute may be messy but the traffic safety story does not end there," says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford. "AAA is expecting a sharp increase in call volume as temperatures decrease, pushing older car batteries beyond their capacity to perform".
During a cold snap earlier this year, AAA responded to almost 5000 calls for help, just in the Greater Hartford area alone. About half of the calls AAA received were for dead batteries and about 30 percent required a tow.
Prepare in Advance
AAA is urging motorists to take extreme precautions in advance of the snow and the dramatic drop in temperatures, to minimize the risk of a breakdown in conditions that could be life-threatening for anyone who is not prepared.
For the snow...
AAA offers the following tips as snow can impact travel plans:
- Delay: Consider delaying your travel plans until the snow ends and/or the roads are clear.
- Buckle up: Each and every passenger (including pets) should be properly restrained.
- Slow down, increase following distance: Increase following distance to at least 10 seconds.
- Put down the phone: Eliminate all distractions while driving including phones and other electronic devices.
- See and be seen: Turn on headlights. Remove snow/ice from the hood, roof, lights, windows and mirrors.
- Turn off cruise control: Avoid using cruise control when icy conditions are likely.
- Fully stock winter emergency kit: Keep a kit stocked with a fully charged cellphone and charger, snow/ice scraper, blanket, extra gloves, hats, flares or brightly colored hazard triangle, shovel, de-icer, kitty litter or sand and non-perishable snacks.
- Move Over: Remember the “Move Over” law when first responders, waste collection workers and emergency roadside assistance workers are assisting motorists and/or disabled vehicles.
- Check your AAA membership status. Before you need service is the best time to check that you have service. Make sure your membership is up to date. Program the AAA HELP number and your membership number into your phone.
For the cold...
Once again, AAA will be offering free battery and tire checks at our new Car Care location in Southington (755 Queen Street) and at any AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities.
As always, AAA is encouraging anyone who does not have to be out in the elements to stay home and stay safe.
“It will be all hands on deck at AAA so that we may respond to stranded motorists as quickly and safely as possible,” Parmenter said. “AAA encourages anyone with a car battery more than three years old to get it checked BEFORE it becomes an emergency”.
- AAA says the average car battery lasts 3-5 years.
- Even at 32 degrees, a battery is 35 percent weaker.
- At zero degrees, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength, yet the engine needs about twice as much power to start.
- A battery’s life can be drained faster if devices are plugged into cars (cell phone chargers, upgraded audio and GPS devices)
AAA also recommends checking tire pressure frequently because tires lose air when air temperatures are cold. Proper cold weather tire pressure can be found in the vehicle manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door, not on the tire itself.
Vehicle Breakdown Tips
Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers. Once everyone is in a safe location, request roadside assistance.
“The first goal is to try to avoid a breakdown by keeping your vehicle up-to-date on maintenance. The second goal, should you break down, is to stay as safe and warm as possible while waiting for help to arrive,” Parmenter said.
For more safety tips if a vehicle breaks down, visit: http://exchange.aaa.com/automotive/roadside-assistance/road-safety-tips
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