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Frigid temps wreak havoc on vehicle batteries

More than 61,000 AAA Mid-Atlantic members across the auto club’s five-state and Washington, D.C. region called AAA Mid-Atlantic for emergency roadside service over the 10-day year-end holiday travel period, a 25 percent increase over the anticipated call volume of 49,000, based on last year’s figure for the time frame. Busiest day of the holiday period was Friday, December 29. Tows, battery-related issues and flat tires were the primary reasons for roadside assistance.

However, as area residents returned to their regular schedule on Tuesday, AAA saw the busiest day yet, coming to the aide of nearly 2,800 New Jerseyans in a single day.  

“The day after a long weekend is typically busier than average.  The record number of people whose vehicles sat idle while they were away for the year-end holiday coupled with the bitter cold is a mixture that could result in thousands of calls today alone,” said Tracy Noble, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Our rescue teams were out in force to aide everyone as quickly and safely as possible, with those stranded on the road taking first priority.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic 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 emergency kit that includes extra warm clothing, a blanket and extra food/snacks and medicine for children or senior passengers.

“AAA wants to ensure all motorists’ safety and security. It is critical that drivers take every precaution, plan and prepare for the possibility of being stranded roadside for an extended period of time,” Noble added.

Why the Extreme Call Volume?

  • The cold puts extreme stress on batteries.
  • Most batteries last 3-5 years.
  • The cold has a cumulative effect, so every day of the extreme cold is more stressful on the battery than the day before.
  • Tires need more air pressure when it’s cold.
  • Tires that are not properly inflated are more likely to sustain a flat or blowout.
  • Vehicles that sit idle over extended period.

Chaveirim around the tri-state area has also handles hundreds of calls daily.

 

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