Drivers unprepared for roadside breakdowns

LOS ANGELES
May 15, 2017 11:39am
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•  AAA expects to rescue 7 Million during summer driving season

•  “Summer’s heat takes a toll on vehicles”


Dead batteries. Flat tires. And just plain getting locked out of their cars are among the problems expected to prompt at least 7 million U.S. motorists to call for roadside help this summer, according to a survey by AAA.

This number could soar higher, with the AAA survey revealing that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for a roadside breakdown. With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, the Automobile Club of Southern California reminds drivers to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip.

“Summer’s heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” says Dave Skaien, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s AAA Approved Auto Repair Manager. “Having a disabled vehicle is a stressful and dangerous situation, which is why the Auto Club urges drivers to stock an emergency kit, have their battery tested and inspect tires to make certain their cars are in road-ready condition.”

AAA has found that many drivers are unprepared for roadside breakdowns. 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.

In California, AAA projects that this summer that its tow trucks will go out and perform 3 million tows, change more than 1 million flat tires and replace more than 788,000 batteries.

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.

“Roadside breakdowns continue to rise each year and can be a safety hazard for everyone on the road,” says Mr. Skaien.

Methodology notes

An omnibus telephone survey was conducted in the continental United States with the sample consists of 1,028 adults who are 18 years old and older. A dual-frame approach was used that combined landline and cell phone interviews to ensure that adults who primarily communicate via cell phones were properly represented. Survey responses were weighted by five variables (age, gender, region, race/ethnicity and education) to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the country’s total population of those 18 and older. The study results have an average statistical error rate of +/- 3 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.


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