A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Some words of caution about staying safe while driving in the extreme cold; tips from AAA

The message AAA and other traffic safety advocates share in advance of New Year’s Eve typically focuses on impaired driving but this year there is an additional concern – the extreme cold.
AAA is encouraging drivers to not only dress for a warm New Year’s Day celebration but to also take along the additional layers they will need in the event of a break down.

AAA has responded to thousands of calls for emergency service in Kentucky.

“Chances are most of those drivers did not expect to find themselves stranded roadside in the freezing cold,” says Jenifer Moore, spokeswoman for AAA. “It is critical that drivers – and their passengers – plan for the possibility and dress accordingly.”
Every day this week AAA has received emergency roadside calls from motorists stranded due to dead batteries and flat tires impacted by the extreme cold and the forecast for New Year’s Eve suggests that trend will continue.
“One of the biggest concerns is motorists stranded in broken down vehicles without fuel or heat,” continues Moore.
Given the weather forecast and the increased number of impaired drivers, AAA is encouraging those who can to ring in the New Year close to home or somewhere that would not involve being on the road.
“We know that alcohol and drugs can impair judgment so celebrating close to home is probably the best way to stay warm and stay safe. What better way to bring in the New Year?” Moore adds.
AAA Tips for Driving in Cold Weather:

• Never drive impaired or ride with someone who is impaired
• Dress for the conditions
• Make sure you have a full tank of gas
• Make sure you have a fully charged cellphone
• Make sure you have a fully stocked winter emergency kit: Ice scraper, snow brush, blanket, extra coat, gloves, hat, flashlight, fully charged cell phone, flares, jumper cables, shovel, de-icer, kitty litter, water and non-perishable snacks

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