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 figures for the time frame. More than 15,000 of those service calls were in Maryland, reflecting a 17 percent increase. 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, AAA says, today will be the busiest day yet, as most people headed back to work with children returning to school after the long holiday weekend.
“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 Ragina Cooper Averella, Manager of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Our rescue teams will get to everyone as quickly and safely as possible.”
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,” Averella 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.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than 937,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.