AAA: Motorists Urged to Prepare for Delays, Avoid Breakdowns During Heat of Summer
AAA responded to over 148,000 calls for roadside assistance
in New Jersey last summer
Hamitlon, NJ, July 2, 2019 — As temperatures continue to push 90 degrees here in New Jersey, commuters and travelers alike need to be aware of the added stress high temperatures place on vehicles. With the heatwave expected to continue through the Independence Day travel period, motorists are reminded to take a few precautions before hitting the road and be mindful of summer driving conditions on the way to their destinations.
Whether heading across the country or down the shore, AAA advises motorists to make sure vehicles are road-ready and up-to-date on maintenance, particularly important as temperatures soar. Staying on top of routine vehicle maintenance is the best way to prevent roadside breakdowns. Last summer, AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued over 148,000 New Jerseyans because of a roadside breakdown.
Breakdowns can put drivers and their passengers at risk, especially on busy highways. At the first sign of a mechanical problem, motorists should try to safely move their vehicle as far to the right as possible, away from the lanes of traffic. Then stay in the vehicle with your seatbelt on and call for help immediately. When help arrives, remain in your vehicle until police or AAA’s Roadside Rescue approaches with further instructions.
"Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson 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.”
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.
Additionally, AAA reminds drivers to take the following safety precautions on the road:
- Don't Drive Intexticated. 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 remain in the vehicle with your seatbelt on until help arrives.