Extreme cold has 30,700 Albertans in need of roadside assistance

Extreme cold across the province has resulted in six times the usual volume of calls to the Alberta Motor Association, which has received more than 30,700 roadside assistance requests since Sunday. 

“People's safety is our top priority,” says Brandon Klassen, a Manager with AMA Automotive Services. “We’re prioritizing calls to ensure people in emergency situations receive help as quickly as possible and thank Albertans for their understanding as we work around the clock to reach those in need. It's absolutely all hands on deck over here.”

With weather forecasters saying a reprieve from the cold is still days away, AMA provides the following tips for motorists:

  • Prior to driving, plug in your vehicle for at least four hours when the outdoor temperature is -15C or below.
  • If you have any doubts about your battery’s health on a cold day, consider alternate transportation until a test is completed or new battery is installed. This could save you from being stranded at roadside in extreme temperatures.*
  • If your vehicle doesn't have a block heater, switching to synthetic oil in the winter will help the engine turn over.
  • Ensure your gas tank is at least half full and consider using gas-line antifreeze.
  • Make sure you have an emergency roadside kit on hand. It should contain, at minimum, a warm blanket, warm clothing, basic first aid, water, a snow brush, and a cell phone charger.
  • If your vehicle breaks down, your safety comes first. Please get to a warm place and don’t wait in your vehicle, as extreme temperatures make it dangerous to be outdoors (even inside a car).
  • Drive to conditions, keeping in mind that roads are extremely slick and additional stopping distance is required.
  • Ensure your tires are properly inflated, as most tires lose one pound per square inch for every 5C drop in temperature

* Please note that AMA suspends battery testing and battery replacement service during extreme weather. In cold temperatures, components under the hood can become brittle, increasing the risk of damage. The cold temperatures also put our operators at greater risk. But AMA will still provide a boost to get members going, or arrange a tow.

The most up-to-date wait times can be found at ama.ab.ca/alert 

About AMA

The Alberta Motor Association (AMA) is among the largest membership organizations in Alberta, representing more than 975,000 members. As a leading advocate for traffic safety, travel and consumer protection and crime prevention, AMA represents the interests of its members to industry and all levels of government and helps protect the things they care about most. Visit ama.ab.ca to learn more about AMA’s products, services and member advocacy efforts.