WASHINGTON, D. C. (Friday, May 24, 2019) ––It happens! And once it happens, it can ruin your much anticipated Memorial Day holiday weekend road trip. Like the cavalry in the final reel of old westerns, emergency roadside assistance crews will ride to the rescue of more than 353,000 motorists at the roadside this Memorial Day holiday weekend. Dead batteries, flat tires and lockouts will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble.
An aggregate of 2.8 million residents hailing from the Washington metro area, Maryland and Virginia are traveling by automobile to their Memorial Day holiday weekend destinations. That moving multitude includes 960,800 Washington area residents hitting the roads. Even if you have a new car from a dealership and are taking it in for the scheduled maintenance, you still need to be proactive about maintaining your car. AAA recommends motorist take their vehicles to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out on a road trip. Be prepared for emergencies with a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit, and drinking water and snacks for all passengers.
“Before heading out, drivers should make sure their vehicles are ready for the holiday weekend and the summer roads ahead,” said James Moore, Car Care Center Manager, AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Properly preparing your vehicle for a road trip is essential for the safety of all passengers and will greatly decrease the chances of your vehicle letting you down. This includes having the car battery tested and tires inspected to ensure the vehicle is in road-ready condition.”
Emergency road assistance crews with AAA Mid-Atlantic expect to respond to rescue calls from over thousands of stalled and stranded motorists during the holiday travel period, including the day after Memorial Day. Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members will experience car trouble. AAA Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
“Roadside breakdowns can be a stressful and dangerous situation not only for the driver and passengers, but for everyone on the road,” said Bruce Jenkins, Roadside Assistance Manager, AAA Mid-Atlantic Club Fleet Depot in Springfield. “Our crack team of emergency roadside assistance rescuers and our contractors are working around the clock and it is all hands on deck. They are poised to ride to the rescue when vehicle breakdowns leave motorists stranded. However, the auto club urges drivers to minimize the risk of a breakdown by planning ahead and preparing properly.”
However, a survey conducted by AAA found that 35 percent of Americans have skipped or delayed service or repairs that were recommended by a mechanic or specified by the factory maintenance schedule.
In light of this, AAA reminds motorists that cars need periodic checkups to maintain safety and maximize efficiency. Make a good B-E-T to stay on the road this summer by having your Battery tested, looking for Engine coolant leaks and checking Tire condition.
- Battery-related issues, including faulty starters or alternators. A battery on the brink of dying rarely warns a driver before it fails, but having a simple battery test will. Through the mobile battery program, AAA offers its members free testing of a vehicle’s battery and electrical system.
- Engine cooling system failures, such as the radiator, thermostat or water pump or engine parts such as the timing belt, most prominently in vehicles age 10 years and older. Much like a battery, the components of the engine cooling system may fail without warning. Drivers should look for fluids such as coolant pooling underneath the vehicle when it is parked as an indication of an impending problem.
- Tire damage severe enough to require repair or replacement. Drivers can minimize this risk by checking tread depth, tire pressure and whether their vehicle is equipped with a spare tire.
AAA Car Care Insurance & Travel Stores in the Washington, D.C. Metro Area
2054 Somerville Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
16301 Crain Highway
Brandywine, MD 20613
7065 Minstrel Way
Columbia, MD 21046
898 Route 3 South
Gambrills, MD 21054
9400 Main St
Fairfax, VA 22031
2871 Plank Road
Fredericksburg, VA 22401
16045 Shady Grove Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
8499 Cherry Lane
Laurel, MD 20707
7865 Sudley Road
Manassas, VA 20109
718 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
6290 Arlington Boulevard
Falls Church, VA
AAA offers the following tips to help avoid common roadside problems:
- Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility, such as a AAA Car Care Center in the Mid-Atlantic region or one of the more than 7,000 AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities across North America, 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.
Rules of the Road: 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, video streaming or looking at or for other objects in the vehicle. Take the pledge to not drive Intexticated at AAA.com/DontDriveDistracted.
- Comply with Move Over Laws. 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 exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.
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Washington, D.C. Mailing Address:
1405 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20005
AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 59 million members nationwide and nearly 80,000 members in the District of Columbia. 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 http://aaa.com