TOWSON, MD (Friday, August 7, 2020) – During this summer that has seen days and days of sweltering heat in July, AAA has been experiencing an unprecedented demand for battery service. At times, it has outpaced the need for tow service, which is highly unusual for the Emergency Roadside Assistance providers. And, servicing those calls is not always as simple as a quick jump start - more than 30% of thecalls have required a AAA technician to install a new battery on the spot. In Maryland, even though roadside assistance calls in July for all services were down about 14% as compared to July 2019, battery calls were up 10% as compared to last July.
“This sharp increase in battery calls is something AAA began seeing in early April, when Members found that vehicles, which had been sitting idle for a time, wouldn’t start when they were needed,” says Ben Perricone, Roadside Assistance & Approved Auto Repair Territory Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Now that summer is here, there are additional factors at play as well.”
Summer travel, which is predominantly road trips (97%) this year, and extreme heat are both contributing to the number of calls AAA is receiving for dead batteries.
By The Numbers
In April and May, with overall call volume down about 25% over last year in AAA Mid-Atlantic’s territory, calls for battery service wereup almost 25% - and the number of new batteries installed during that two month period was up nearly 60%.
In June, as call volume returned to near normal levels, dead battery calls remained higher than usual – with AAA installing new batteries on approximately a third of those calls.
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The number of calls for battery service has been so highly unusual for such an extended period, AAA Mid-Atlantic is hanging out the help wanted sign.
“Our members count on AAA regardless of the circumstances – in a pandemic, over a holiday weekend or during a heat wave,” Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager says. “It is critical that we always have skilled technicians on hand to answer that call.”
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to over 60 million members nationwide and nearly 988,000 members in Maryland. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit AAA.com.
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