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Extreme Cold Leaves Motorists Stranded

Extreme Cold Leaves Motorists Stranded

Since Friday’s storm and through yesterday, AAA Mid-Atlantic has handled over 31,600 service calls throughout their region, a 45 percent increase compared to the same time last year. Nearly 8,000 of those calls were from stranded Maryland motorists. Seventy percent of the calls were for towing and dead batteries. The auto club has also recorded significantly more calls than a week ago before the extreme weather surfaced and temperatures plummeted.

"AAA Mid-Atlantic has been experiencing unprecedented call volume since Friday’s storm and, for the first time ever, registered over 1,000 calls in a single hour on Monday," stated Ragina Cooper-Averella, Public and Government Affairs Manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. The high call volume is attributed to the intense cold, inclement weather conditions, as well as some carry-over from the holidays. Because of the long holiday, many members had not started their vehicles for two weeks, and unfortunately found that their cars wouldn’t start after sitting dormant, coupled with the cold temperatures. "As the mercury drops to record-low levels over the next few days, we will likely continue to experience high levels of calls for service," Cooper-Averella added.

"While AAA has called in additional resources to assist handle the volume, we will still have to prioritize calls based on the severity of the motorist’s breakdown location. Those stranded on the shoulder of an interstate will take priority. We are asking members to please remain patient while awaiting service and to make sure their vehicle is equipped with an emergency road kit," Cooper-Averella added.

Roadside Assistance Call Volume for AAA Mid-Atlantic Week over Week

@

MD

DC

DE

NJ

PA

VA

Totals

01/06/14

2352

286

370

2811

2464

1489

9772

12/30/13

1585

220

239

1537

1443

1192

6216

Percentage Change

48%

30%

55%

83%

71%

25%

57%

@

Battery

Extrication

Fuel

Lock

Lockout

LS*

Tire

Tow

Total

01/06/14

3213

111

93

43

493

262

1389

4168

9772

12/30/13

1617

98

127

69

605

131

872

2697

6126

Percentage Change

98%

13%

-27%

-37%

-18.5%

100%

59%

54.5%

57%

*Light Service, which does not require a tow.

"If you don’t have to go out in these frigid temperatures and are not planning to use your vehicle for several days, AAA automotive technicians recommend that you at least start your vehicle and let it run it for a few minutes to avoid an unpleasant surprise," Cooper-Averella said. If you’re going out, AAA Mid-Atlantic suggests giving yourself extra travel time; driving easily during the first few miles to warm up your car gently; and dressing warmly.

 

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