AAA: Many unprepared for roadside emergencies

Since Memorial Day, AAA Mid-Atlantic has rescued over 326,000 drivers from Virginia to New Jersey, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues.

aaaIn Virginia alone, AAA Mid-Atlantic has assisted more than 68,000 (68,104) motorists with vehicle issues since Memorial Day.  As the summer rolls on, this number will only continue to climb.  A recent AAA survey revealed that four out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations.  Additional findings show 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.

“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Martha Mitchell Meade, Manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “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.”

With many weeks of summer driving still left ahead, AAA Mid-Atlantic will be offering free battery, tire pressure and car maintenance checks to ensure motorists’ vehicles are road ready for the remainder of summer.  The free Summer Car Care event, open to the public, will be held at all AAA Car Care Centers throughout the AAA’s Mid-Atlantic region on Saturday, July 29 from 9:00a.m. until 1:00p.m. 

While advanced appointments are preferred, walk-ins will be accepted based on availability.  For more information, drivers may call 1(866) AAA-AUTO or visit AAA.com/Events.

AAA Summer Car Care Events in Richmond and Fredericksburg, Virginia:

AAA Swift Creek Car Care Insurance Travel Center, 13732 Hull Street Rd, Midlothian, VA 23112

  • AAA Car Care will provide free battery and tire pressure checks, opportunity to win prizes, and free TripTiks and Tourbooks
  • Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (HEAT) Program will provide vehicle identification number (VIN) etching.  VIN etching provides another barrier against potential auto theft.  VIN etching will start at 10am and end at 1pm – weather permitting.

AAA Glenside Car Care Insurance Travel Center, 7009 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23294

  • AAA Car Care will provide free battery and tire pressure checks, opportunity to win prizes, and free TripTiks and Tourbooks
  • Virginia State Police Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (HEAT) Program will have a booth providing tips on how to prevent auto theft with information about upcoming VIN etching events.
  • Mid-Atlantic Foundation for Safety and Education and Virginia State Police will have IDrive-on-the-go on display.  The mobile unit is used at schools in Virginia to educate teens about the dangers of impaired driving

AAA Fredericksburg Car Care Insurance Travel Center, 2871 Plank Road, Fredericksburg, VA  22401

  • AAA Car Care will provide free battery and tire pressure checks, opportunity to win prizes, and free TripTiks and Tourbooks

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 three million drivers nationwide 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,” continued Meade. “AAA is ready to help when vehicle troubles leave you stranded, however, travelers can minimize their risk by planning ahead and preparing properly.”