TULSA, Okla. — AAA Oklahoma has 150 roadside technicians continuing vehicle rescues. As of 4:00 p.m. Monday, AAA Oklahoma has received 560 calls for roadside rescues since midnight.
For safety reasons, AAA Oklahoma is urging drivers to avoid travel unless it is critical.
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“Motorists are likely to be overconfident in their vehicles’ ability to run at these extreme temperatures and maneuver on icy, sleet-packed roads,” AAA said in a statement.
The organization provided a list of tips to keep your car running and stay safe during the winter weather:
- Always drive prepared. Should a breakdown occur, you will need a charged-up cell phone, and a winter emergency kit with an ice-scraper, shovel, flash lights, blankets, kitty litter, a mask, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. If you’re a driver with AAA, take your membership card with you anytime you travel.
- Check on your vehicle’s battery. Vehicle batteries weaken when vehicles sit idle for a period of time and during long periods of cold temperatures. The combination of the two can result in a very weak battery, according to the organization.
- No warming trend. AAA explained that if your car is a 2007 or newer model, you don’t need to warm it up before driving. It only takes about 30 seconds for the engine to be lubricated properly. AAA said the best thing for your vehicle is driving. Take enough time to be sure your vehicle is clear of snow and ice and that you can see out of all the windows. Cars warm up faster on the road than when they are stopped. Leaving your vehicle running in the driveway for an extended period of time wastes gas.
- Don’t be a victim. Never leave a car running with the key or key fob inside. AAA warned that thieves take off with a running vehicle in a moment. Never start a car and leave it running in a garage without adequate ventilation. When it’s time to remove heavy snow from your car, don’t start your car unless you’ve already cleared out the tailpipe. Death from poison monoxide entering your vehicle can occur quickly if you don’t.
- De-ice. With freezing rain in the forecast, ice is a real threat to vehicles sitting out in the elements. Frozen door locks can be overcome by carefully heating the end of a key with a match or lighter. A squirt of de-ice spray is another quick method. Remember not to leave the de-icer in your car as you won’t have access to it if your lock freezes, AAA said.
- Don’t forget coolant. Engine coolant performs a vital job when the temperature drops, AAA Oklahoma said. It lowers the freezing point of the cooling system in winter. Failing to ensure coolant levels can handle the extremely cold temperatures could result in serious and expensive damage to the vehicle’s engine. AAA recommended that coolant protection be at 30 below zero.
- Under pressure. AAA also recommends checking tire pressure since tires need more air when it is cold. Proper cold weather tire pressure can be found in the vehicle manual or on a sticker inside the driver’s door jam.
- Don’t forget gas. Keep a vehicle filled with at least half a tank of gas. A half to full tank of gas gives a driver the ability to keep a car running for warmth if they are stranded somewhere, AAA said. Gas also gives the car more weight which can help with traction in the snow. It can also help avoid gas lines freezing up.
- Bigger isn’t always better. Guard against pick-up and SUV overconfidence. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are great for initial traction and avoiding getting stuck, but once they are moving, they have the same difficulty keeping control and stopping as other vehicles. On ice, they are just as much at risk of slipping and sliding as other vehicles, AAA said.
- Travel slowly. Drive, turn and brake slowly. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. AAA advised that drivers should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
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