Calls to AAA increasing due to bitter cold temperatures

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – AAA has been slammed with calls during these bitterly cold temperatures. Crews have been working around the clock to help stranded drivers throughout the region.

“That first day when its 12, or 2 or 20 below, it’s still a shock no matter how prepared you are for it,” said Dan Fisher, fleet manager for AAA.

These brutally cold temperatures have been keeping Dan fisher pretty busy. He’s the fleet manager for AAA.

When its dangerously cold, with wind chills well below zero, he says he makes sure his crews are bundled up.

“We make sure everybody’s got whatever they need, jackets, overalls, coveralls, boots anything like that, but yea you have to,” said Fisher.

Fisher says it’s been all hands on deck…with crews on the road and in the AAA dispatch center. At one point this week, dispatch received more than 300 incoming calls an hour.

“Christmas eve, even Christmas which is usually a pretty dead day was not,” said Fisher.

Calls have been coming in — some for towing or drivers needing a jump start. But most of the calls have been for bad batteries. Crews replaced dozens of batteries in just the last two days.

“Definitely not every battery we go to is necessarily bad, I mean a lot of them are especially in this weather,” said Fisher.

The bitter cold isn’t making it any easier to help stranded drivers.

“This truck can’t tow right now because it’s dials in the back are frozen,” said Fisher.

But Fisher says no matter how cold it is, crews are keeping at it — while trying to keep warm — to help as many drivers as possible.

“They’re all working hard and this has been really prolonged too, this is not normal at all,” said Fisher.

AAA wants to remind people when it gets dangerously cold below 20 degrees, people should keep at least a half tank of gas in their car. Don’t let your car sit idle for too long. Even if you plan on staying in all weekend, make sure to start it up and let it run for a while.

For more cold weather tips for your car, click here.

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