AAA Mid-Atlantic anticipates helping 62,000 stranded motorists.
Towson, Md (KM) If you’ve headed out of town by car to your holiday destination, very soon you’ll need to travel home. And some motorists could experience break downs on the highways.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says it anticipates coming to aid of about 62,000 drivers during the Christmas and New Year’s period in the five states and Washington DC that it serves, and that includes more than 15,000 drivers in Maryland. “And we find it’s dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reason motorists will be experiencing car trouble,” says spokeswoman Christine Delise.
If you not left for home yet, and you have some time, Delise recommends you have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic. “Checking the fluid level in their engine; the windshield wiper fluid; anti-freeze, and the oil level; and also checking their tire pressure,” she says.
Before you leave, AAA says make sure you have a fully stocked emergency kit in your vehicle in case you break down on the highway. It should include a cell phone and car charger, flashlight with extra batteries, first-aid kit, basic tool kit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer fluid, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water and snacks. “And this time of year, you need to prepare for winter driving and having in your kit a warm blanket, extra gloves, a hat, ice scrapers, a snow brush, a small shovel, and sand or kitty litter for traction,” says Delise.
If you happen to break down, Delise says it’s best to get your vehicle off the road. “If at all possible, try to move your car to the side of the road. But that does not mean exiting your vehicle and pushing it,” she says.
“If you do find yourself stranded on the actual roadway, just stay buckled up and put on your emergency flashers,” says Delise. “If you are on the side of the road, it’s a good idea to put out flares.”
By Kevin McManus