AAA is projecting that 7 million American drivers will need its assistance during the 2017 summer season, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues.
According to AAA Automotive, drivers in the U.S. are unprepared to handle emergency breakdown situations. A recent survey by the organization revealed that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations, so that 7 million estimate could potentially go higher.
Survey data also 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.
With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, consumers are reminded to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip, 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.
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.
“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Cliff Ruud, AAA’s managing director of AAA Automotive. “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.”