With the holiday season kicking off, hitting the road and taking long trips could leave you stranded. AAA estimates that 1.2 million motorists will get stranded between December 19 through January 2, so it’s released a check list to help make sure you’re not one of those 1.2 million.
Based on previous years, AAA estimates that more than three out of five stranded motorists on the road can be taken care of on the roadside, but remaining travellers will end up with a tow in the holiday season. To avoid being one of those motorists, here’s some advice before you get on the road.
First off, take a quick minute to make sure you have plenty of antifreeze to withstand any cold weather. A recommended 50-50 mixture of coolant and water is optimal to protect against freezing. Next, make sure your wiper blades are in good condition and aren’t causing any streaking; while you’re at it, top off your washer fluid with winter detergent fluid to prevent freeze up.
Next on your list is to make sure that your tires are in great condition for a road trip. Check your tire pressure frequently, as cold weather will cause your tires to deflate and make sure you use the recommended pressure found on the driver’s door jamb and not what’s on the tire’s sidewall. Never reduce your tire pressure if you’re travelling on snow and ice.
One of the main culprits of getting stranded on the road is a dead battery. Clean away any corrosion on the battery and its cable connections and have it tested before the cold weather hits or you get on the road. Lastly, replace any belts on your vehicle that are cracked, glazed, or frayed, and any coolant hoses that appear to be worn, brittle, bulging, or are excessively soft.
“Becoming stranded on the roadway is the last thing on anyone’s holiday wish list,” said Marshall L. Doney , AAA National Vice President, Automotive, Financial Services and E-Business. “Whether you are staying local or planning a long distance road trip, having your vehicle properly maintained and prepared for holiday driving will help ensure it gets you and your loved ones to your destination safely and without incident.”