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Motorists encouraged to keep safety in mind during cold weather driving

Tips for bitter cold auto blues, and how to be prepared for the worst behind the wheel
Published: Feb. 8, 2021 at 8:53 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As temperatures plummeted overnight into the single digits, auto breakdowns occurring during extreme temperatures can become life-threatening situations.

For those who have to venture out, experts from AAA say preparation is key.

It’s been a busy day for the company’s roadside rescue team, responding to well over 400 stranded drivers in Northwest Ohio since midnight on Monday.

Mike Brown, an automotive trainer with AAA, says there’s an increase in calls for dead batteries and tows as drivers battle the bitter cold.

“People aren’t driving as much, maybe not using their car as much, you will want to run that engine pretty regularly because that battery will drain pretty quick,” says Brown, who tells 13abc how this time of year, batteries typically lose 50% of their capacity.

Brown also recommends keeping an emergency kit stocked with things like flashlights, a fully charged phone, and jumper cables in the car. It’s also a good idea to pack blankets and candles, in case you’re stuck without heat.

“Try to stay in the vehicle if possible because that is your shelter,” Brown says. “We could be several hours behind, just because we have so many calls.”

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says his deputies are on the lookout for those who may need help this time of year.

“When there’s someone stranded on the side of the road we always stop, if we’re headed to another call we’ll come back, we are always vigilant in looking out for people who are disabled,” says the Sheriff, who also advises keeping your gas tank at least half full this time of year.

“You don’t know when you’re going to break down, or if someone’s involved in a crash and your vehicle is disabled and you don’t have heat, you want to have blankets and warm clothing until we get there and of course you can wait in our car to make arrangements, or we can help take you home,” adds Sheriff Wasylyshyn.

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