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AAA Washington Expects to Rescue More than 13,800 Local Motorist this Holiday Season

Holidays Fall On Weekends And Colder Than Usual Temperatures Are Contributors To Extra Preparation

BELLEVUE, Wash. — AAA is forecasting the highest level of travel on record this holiday season. Lots of people on the roads mixed with winter weather is a recipe for breakdowns. AAA Washington expects to rescue more than 13,800 motorist traveling between the two holiday weekends. A little maintenance and planning before heading out on your holiday road trip can prevent an unwelcome and inconvenient breakdown.

AAA Washington to rescue more than 13,800 motorists this Holiday Season

In Washington and northern Idaho, AAA expects to rescue more than 13,800 motorists in the days leading up to and following the Christmas and New Year holidays. The primary response for motorist calls include: a tow, lockout services and battery replacement or boost. AAA recommends motorists check the condition of their battery and tires before heading out on a road trip, especially as low temperatures continue to sweep the Pacific Northwest. Also, have vehicles inspected by a trusted repair shop, such as one of the more than 200 AAA Approved Auto Repair local facilities. Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.

“Most roadside breakdowns can be prevented with a little maintenance,” said Jennifer Cook, AAA spokesperson. “In addition to making sure your vehicle is tuned up, AAA recommends drivers pack their patience and a winter driving kit.”

Winter Driving Kit

Be prepared with a winter driving kit that includes:

  • Bag of abrasive materials such as sand, salt or cat litter for gaining traction in snow and ice
  • Snow shovel
  • Flashlight
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Ice scraper and snow brush
  • Jumper cables
  • Blanket
  • Warning flare or triangles
  • Cellular phone and emergency charger
  • Food and water
  • First aid kit

Winter Driving Tips

Winter storms and bad weather are a factor in nearly half a million crashes and more than two thousand road deaths every winter, according to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. In 2014, there were more than 5,200 collisions and 24 fatality collisions here in Washington because of icy, snowy or slushy road conditions.

Colder than usual temperatures this holiday season, means drivers will need to ensure their vehicle is up for the challenge. When snow is in the forecast, do not drive unless necessary, or be prepared if you must drive.

  • Drive during daylight hours
  • Decrease your speed
  • Increase your following distance
  • If you begin to skid, don’t brake and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go.

For more tips and winter driving advice from AAA, download a free copy of How to Go on Ice and Snow.

Gas Prices

Gas prices have crept up a little after OPEC announced production cuts, but this hasn’t impacted people’s plans to travel this holiday. With gas prices low, auto travel is still the most popular mode of transportation for holiday travel. Today’s national average is $2.23, 21 cents higher than last year. In Washington, the average price of gasoline is $2.59 per gallon, 8 cents lower than a month ago and 17 cents less than a year ago. In Idaho, the average price is $2.25 per gallon, Oregon is $2.40, California is $2.66 and Montana is $2.19.

AAA Cautions against Impaired Driving this Holiday Season

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s Traffic Safety Culture Index, one in five licensed drivers (21%) who drink at least occasionally reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.

“As we celebrate the holiday season, AAA urges everyone to refrain from drinking or doing drugs and getting behind the wheel of a vehicle,” said Cook. “Party hosts are key to keeping everyone safe. They can provide protein rich foods, non-alcoholic beverage options, call a cab for someone who has had too much to drink or offer guests a spare bedroom.”

Air Travel

Many local residents will be flying to a destination with holiday packages in tow. For those checking luggage, using a hard shell suitcase or packaging the gift in bubble wrap or packing peanuts will provide extra support for fragile gifts.

AAA Travel Experts recommend packing wrapping paper with you for use at your destination or wrapping gifts in gift bags that are easily accessible to TSA agents. For additional TSA holiday preparation info, visit:

Download the AAA Mobile app before holiday travel

Before setting out for the holidays, download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Travelers can use the app to map a route, find lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, make travel arrangements, request AAA roadside assistance, and find AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities and more. Learn more at

About AAA Washington:

AAA Washington was established in 1904 by 10 prominent Seattleites determined to champion the betterment of motoring conditions and laws, the preservation of Washington state’s natural beauty and the promotion of Washington as an unrivaled tourist destination. Nearly 120 years later, the club continues to pursue these on behalf of its 1.2 million members. 

Members of AAA Washington receive exclusive benefits, including roadside assistance, discounts on hotels and rental cars, comprehensive insurance options, and personalized trip planning. AAA Washington was named a Best Place to Work by Puget Sound Business Journal and voted the best Travel/Tourism Company by 425 Business readers in 2023, and AAA was named one of the most trusted travel and automotive brands in the U.S. Additional information is available through the company’s Washington and northern Idaho stores and at 

About AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety:

Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit

Media Contact

Fearey o/b/o AAA Washington 

Twitter: @AAA_Washington
Facebook: AAA Washington
Instagram: aaawashington

Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.

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