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Cold December 'boosts' CAA numbers

With two days left in the year, December 2013 will go down in the CAA Manitoba record books as the busiest month since at least 2005.

So far, they've served more than 18,400 members in the last 30 days — a record that goes back as far as their automated records system does. The auto club says that they expect the record actually reaches back far further than 2005, but they don’t have numbers to prove it.

Earlier this month, CAA Manitoba said that a little more than a third of their calls were expected to be for battery boosts or replacements, by far the most requested service over the holiday season. Other highly requested services were for people who had been locked out of their vehicles, or for people stranded with a flat tire, out of fuel, or in the ditch.

When it comes to the winter months, December is usually a slower month," said Liz Peters, corporate communications manager for CAA Manitoba. "Typically, January sees more snow and is far colder. This year, so far has been the exact opposite of that trend." 

The previous busiest month recorded was just last January with 18,784 members serviced. Prior to that, in December 2008, 18,066 members were serviced.

In addition, by the end of today, CAA also anticipates breaking the record for busiest three-month period since 2005.

In 2008, over October, November and December, CAA Manitoba serviced 38,420 members. By this morning, over the same three-month period, CAA Manitoba has served just over 38,400 members. They expect to serve about 1,000 members both today and tomorrow, felling the previous record.

"Since Dec. 4, 2013 when the cold and snow first hit, we’ve had all hands on deck to serve members as fast as possible," Peters said. "Many of our drivers and call takers voluntarily worked overtime hours over the holidays to help keep up with the demand."

Until this cold snap passes, Peters said the best thing motorists can do for their vehicles is plug in every night, even during the day at work and cross their fingers that January and February are above seasonal temperatures.

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