37,000 calls to AMA since Sunday, and the number keeps growing
EDMONTON -- The Alberta Motor Association said it has received more than 30,700 calls for roadside assistance since Sunday, more than six times the usual call volume.
Thousands of those calls have been for batteries. AMA said it will still provide a boost to motorists, but battery testing and replacement service is suspended during extreme weather because components under the hood can become brittle, increasing the risk of damage.
"People's safety is our top priority," said Brandon Klassen, a Manager with AMA Automotive Services in a written release. "We’re prioritizing calls to ensure people in emergency situations receive help as quickly as possible and thank Albertans for their understanding as we work around the clock to reach those in need. It's absolutely all hands on deck over here."
AMA has released the following list of tips to help drivers get to their destination in the cold:
- Prior to driving, plug in your vehicle for at least four hours when the outdoor temperature is -15C or below.
- If you have any doubts about your battery’s health on a cold day, consider alternate transportation until a test is completed or new battery is installed. This could save you from being stranded at roadside in extreme temperatures.
- If your vehicle doesn't have a block heater, switching to synthetic oil in the winter will help the engine turn over.
- Ensure your gas tank is at least half full and consider using gas-line antifreeze.
- Make sure you have an emergency roadside kit on hand. It should contain, at minimum, a warm blanket, warm clothing, basic first aid, water, a snow brush, and a cell phone charger.
- If your vehicle breaks down, your safety comes first. Please get to a warm place and don’t wait in your vehicle, as extreme temperatures make it dangerous to be outdoors (even inside a car).
- Drive to conditions, keeping in mind that roads are extremely slick and additional stopping distance is required.
- Ensure your tires are properly inflated, as most tires lose one pound per square inch for every 5C drop in temperature