American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situationsAmerican drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situationsAURORA, Ill. (May 11, 2017) – This summer, AAA expects to rescue 7 million American drivers, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues. In Illinois, AAA expects to rescue nearly 420,000 people this summer and 300,000 people across Indiana. These number could soar higher, with a AAA survey revealing that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations. With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, AAA reminds drivers to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip.
“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Beth Mosher, director of public affairs for AAA Chicago. “Having a disabled vehicle is a stressful and dangerous situation, which is why AAA urges drivers to stock an emergency kit, have their battery tested and inspect tires to make certain their cars are in road-ready condition.”
Unfortunately, AAA has found that many drivers are unprepared for roadside emergencies. Survey data shows that two-thirds of American drivers have never proactively had their car battery tested, 1 in 5 do not know how to change a tire and 4 in 10 do not carry an emergency kit in their vehicle.
Other findings from AAA’s 2017 roadside assistance data show:
- Dead batteries, flat tires and vehicle lockouts are top reasons that members call AAA during the summer.
- While more than half of members’ problems are resolved at the roadside by AAA, more than 3 million drivers will experience significant vehicle issues this summer that require a tow to a repair facility.
- With low-profile tires and the elimination of spare tires, many newer vehicles are especially susceptible to roadside trouble.
AAA offers the following tips to help avoid common roadside problems:
- Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing for AAA members.
- Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets.
- Prevent lockouts. Always take keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
- Drive distraction-free. Do not text or engage in distracting activities while driving, including interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle.
- Comply with the Move Over Law. Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
- Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.