AAA offers winter travel tips for motorists

January 6, 2014

DAYTON — As AAA crews prepare for this week’s frigid weather conditions they offer important safety tips to help motorists travel safely.

As of Sunday afternoon, the AAA Roadside Rescue Team had responded to more than 1,000 calls for help from stranded motorists in the Miami Valley area since Friday. The team prepared for the wintry weather and sub-zero temperatures in anticipation of a heavy call volume Monday including dead batteries, lockouts and slide-offs.

“Our drivers will be in early tomorrow morning at 5, loading trucks with batteries and other equipment to assist motorists,” Public Affairs Manager Ciny Antrican said Sunday.

Motorists are encouraged to follow these tips when preparing to travel in winter conditions:

Make sure your battery has ample starting power. At 0 degrees Fahrenheit, your battery loses about 35 percent of its power and your engine needs 2.5 times more power to start than on a warm summer day.

Check your tire pressure to prevent a flat. For every 10 degrees the temperature drops, you lose one pound of tire pressure.

Park your car in the garage. If you have no garage, select a place that is protected from wind and large snow drifts.

To avoid frozen door or door locks, buy a lubricant that is available in most auto supply stores. For best results, apply prior to the freezing weather.

Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid fuel-line freeze-up. Adding a can of gas line deicer periodically is a good idea.

Pack a winter survival kit with such items as blankets, extra clothing, scraper, shovel, flashlight and battery cables.

Charge cell phone before leaving home and keep a car charger in your vehicle.

Clear all snow and ice from the entire car, including headlights and tail lights.

Reduce speed and increase following distance on winter roads.

Avoid sudden stops, starts and turns to maintain control on slippery roads.

AAA also urges motorists to be equipped with winter car essentials, including:

  • Scraper/brush to clean ice off of your windshield. Using another object, such as a credit card or CD, could damage your auto glass.
  • Kitty litter, sand or scrap pieces of carpet, can help tires gain traction if stuck in snow or mud.
  • Jumper cables for unexpected battery failures.
  • Folding shovel, when paired with sand or kitty litter, can help you get unstuck.
  • Other tools that can help you stay safe in the event of a breakdown, including a cell phone and charger, blankets, hot packs to keep your hands and feet warm, water and non-perishable snacks.