AAA Mid-Atlantic is urging motorists to make sure their vehicles are ready for the cold weather, especially as temperatures dip below freezing. 

With the temperatures hovering in the 30's and 40's, and overnight lows only in the 20's, AAA is expecting the first wave of winter emergency calls, as drivers across the tri-state area awaken to dead batteries.

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Tracy Noble, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic says, "It will be all hands on deck at AAA so that we may respond to stranded motorists as quickly and safely as possible. No one ever plans on getting stranded so AAA is encouraging anyone with a battery more than three years old to get it checked today."

According to AAA, the average car battery lasts 3-5 years. At zero degrees, a car's battery loses about 60 percent of its strength while the engine needs twice as much power to start. Even at freezing (32 degrees), a battery is 35 percent weaker.

AAA also recommends checking tire pressure since tires require more air when it is cold. Proper cold weather tire pressure can be found in the vehicle manual or on a sticker inside the driver's door, NOT on the tire.

Finally, AAA recommends preparing a winter emergency kit including a shovel, deicer, ice scraper, extra gloves, a blanket and a first aid kit.

"The first goal is to avoid a breakdown. The second goal, should you break down, is to stay as safe and warm as possible while waiting for help to arrive," says Noble.

AAA CarCare, Insurance and Travel centers will check batteries and tires for free whether you're a AAA member or not. 

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