AAA responds to high volume of emergency roadside calls in Maryland

Tuesday's record-breaking cold and Wednesday's persistent chill left many Maryland drivers stranded.

AAA Mid-Atlantic said in a release Wednesday they've responded to "unprecedented emergency roadside service volume" since the bitter cold moved into the region this week.

On Tuesday, AAA was dispatched to 2,659 calls in Maryland. That number is more than double the total number of requests in the state just one week earlier, according to AAA.

Calls for assistance continued to pour in Wednesday. As of 11 a.m., more than 1,000 requests for assistance were made in Maryland.

The top reasons motorists called for help were battery issues, need for a tow and flat tires.

AAA says cold weather is very hard on car batteries and when temperatures are at zero, car batteries lose about 60 percent of their strength. When temperatures are at freezing, car batteries lose about 35 percent of their strength, according to AAA.

Warning signs that a battery-related breakdown is on the way include grinding or clicking sound when the ignition is turned on, slow cranking when trying to start a vehicle and headlights dimming when the car is idle but brightening when the engine is revved.

Batteries that are more than three years old are also at greater risk.

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