AAA is preparing for a busy weekend as temperatures near 100 degrees. Under-hood temperatures can climb into the hundreds of degrees, creating a perfect recipe for battery failure. High temperatures break down car batteries internally and accelerate the rate of corrosion on the vehicle’s battery terminals. The average life of a battery is three to five years. AAA encourages motorists to get their battery tested if it’s older than three years old. AAA members can use the regular service number to call and request a battery test.
Just as motorists prepare an emergency kit for their cars during winter driving conditions, they should also make preparations for the summer driving conditions. Back-ups and delays caused by things like vehicle crashes can result in drivers being stranded along highways for extended periods of time. Jim Hanni offers safety tips to help keep drivers safe:
- During the summer months drivers should carry a minimum of five bottles of water for each person in the vehicle.
- If traffic is not moving do not use the accessory setting to listen to the radio, or use any other devices that could drain the car battery.
- While running the air conditioner drivers should keep an eye on the dash and if the vehicle starts to overheat shut it off immediately and open the hood to allow the engine to cool off. The vehicle may need to be off for a minimum of 45 minutes. When restarting the vehicle leave the hood open.
- If you cannot operate the vehicles air conditioning, open windows on both sides of the car to cross ventilate.
- Carry a windshield sun shade in your vehicle to provide some shade from the sun.
- Staying in your vehicle is usually the safest option. If however the heat becomes too oppressive and traffic shows no signs of moving, consider seeking shelter in the shade. If there are trees or an overpass nearby that would provide shade to take a break and give your body time to cool off.