This week’s blast of winter weather in Oklahoma kept the American Automobile Association busy as it rescued nearly 600 Oklahomans.
Leslie Gamble with AAA Oklahoma reported the official count was 587 who needed roadside assistance which was 150 more calls than is normal for this time in November.
“Being stuck along the side of the road is inconvenient at any time of year but in extreme cold, it is potentially unsafe for drivers and passengers alike,” says Leslie Gamble, AAA Oklahoma spokesperson. “No one should be leaving their homes in a vehicle that is not winter ready”.
The organization is still urging drivers to take every step to make sure their vehicles are ready for the frigid winter ahead.
Primarily, AAA says, this means ensuring that your vehicle’s battery is in good working condition and that the tires are properly inflated for colder temperatures. AAA also reminds all motorists to make sure they have a roadside rescue plan.
“Who are you going to call if you’re stuck on the side of the road,” Gamble says. “Don’t leave it to chance as to who will be available and equipped to quickly respond.”
The reminder might serve well because another round of frigid weather is due this weekend, although it won’t include as much snow.
News 9 meteorologist Lacey Swope says northwest and central Oklahoma could see sleet on Saturday while the eastern part of the state will get more rain. The storm should exit the state sometime on Sunday.
How to Prepare Your Vehicle for the Cold
- Make sure your tires are inflated for cold weather
- A ‘cold weather pressure’ is typically posted on a sticker inside the driver’s door.
- Tires need more pressure when it is cold and under inflated tires are more likely to sustain a blow out or flat.
- Make sure you battery is strong.
- It takes a battery twice as much power to start a vehicle when temperatures drop below freezing.
- Most batteries last 3-5 years so any battery more than 3 years old is at risk.
3. Stock a Cold Weather Emergency Kit
- Most important is fully charged cellphone so you can call for help
- Extra charger
- Extra coat, gloves, hats, blanket
- Flare or flashlight with additional batteries so you can see and be seen – especially at night
- Shovel, Ice scraper, de-icer
- Kitty litter or abrasive materials