HARTFORD, CT (January 28, 2021) – AAA is gearing up for a spike in call volume over the next few days because of the cold…and COVID-19. Car batteries lose their strength in the cold so a sharp increase in calls is not unusual but with so many cars sitting idle for days or weeks at a time because of COVID-19, it is likely that even more drivers will find themselves stranded.
AAA is reminding drivers to take every precaution because breaking down in the extreme cold can literally be life threatening.
“If you have not started your car in a day or two or if your battery is 3-5 years old, start your car today and take it for a short ride. Do not wait until tomorrow and find yourself dangerously exposed to the elements,” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA. “Equally important, make sure you have an extra blanket, hats or gloves in the vehicle so, in the event of a breakdown, you and your passengers can stay safe and warm while waiting for help to arrive.”
AAA is reminding members that Emergency Roadside crews will actually come out and check your battery and your tire pressure FOR FREE at any time, or you can stop by any AAA Approved Auto Repair for the same service. And, if need be, AAA Emergency Roadside crews can provide contactless service to replace your battery, ensuring your safety and the safety of our staff during COVID-19.
AAA is also reminding drivers to check their tire pressure which should always be adjusted in the winter months for best performance, safety and to avoid a flat tire or blow out. The correct tire pressure can be found on a sticker, inside the driver’s side door jamb.
Lastly, AAA is urging all motorists to have a fully charged cellphone so you can call for help if need be, a full tank of gas and a fully stocked emergency kit – including extra blanket, hats, gloves – so you and your passengers can stay safe and warm while waiting for help to arrive
AAA Cold Weather Car Care
- Most batteries last 3-5 years so drivers should ensure their battery is in good working order by having it checked by a technician
- Start your engines – A car that sits idle for even a few days is at greater risk for a dead battery. Start your engine and take the car for a short ride. Don’t leave car idling unattended and at risk of being stolen
- Take advantage of AAA’s Mobile Battery Service - AAA members can call for a free checkup at any time, home or office, and battery can be replaced on the spot if needed.
- Make sure tires are properly inflated for cold weather to ensure safe performance and to avoid flat tire or blow out
- Proper inflation can usually be found on a sticker inside the driver’s door jamb – not on the sidewall of the tire
- Don’t forget the spare! – Make sure the spare is also properly inflated so a flat tire does not require a tow
AAA Winter Emergency Kit:
This year, that kit should include extra masks so you and your passengers can stay safe should you need to interact with a roadside emergency crew.
- Blankets, gloves and extra warm clothing
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- Emergency flares or reflectors
- Windshield scraper and brush; de-icer
- Bag of sand or kitty litter for traction
- Jumper cables
- First aid kit
- Water and snacks for small children or older passengers
- Additional medicines your passengers might need