Posts Tagged ‘change a flat tire’

American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 11, 2017) – This summer, AAA expects to rescue 7 million American drivers, with the majority facing battery, lock and tire-related issues. This number could soar higher, with a AAA survey revealing that 4 out of 10 American drivers are unprepared for emergency breakdown situations. With three-quarters of family travelers planning to travel by car to their favorite vacation spot, AAA reminds drivers to take the necessary precautions to ensure they are well prepared for a safe road trip.  

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“Summer heat takes a toll on vehicles, causing overheating engines, tire blowouts and dead batteries,” said Cliff Ruud, AAA’s managing director of AAA Automotive. “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.”

Unfortunately, AAA has found that many drivers are unprepared for roadside emergencies. 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.

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

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:

  • Drive distraction-free. 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 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.

Before hitting the road, AAA recommends that drivers download the free AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Apple Watch. Travelers can use the app to request AAA roadside assistance, route a trip, find the lowest gas prices, access exclusive member discounts, book a hotel, and more. AAA members can also track the location of their assigned service vehicle in real time with Service Tracker. Learn more at

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides 57 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

Are Your Tires Gasping for Air?

June 2nd, 2011 by AAA

Washington, D.C. – 6/2/2011

RMA, AAA, NHTSA Continue Effort to Educate Motorists about Proper Tire Care

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), AAA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Fairfax County, Va. police teamed up today at the Fairfax County Police Emergency Vehicle Operations Center to demonstrate the hazards posed by under inflated tires. The event also kicks off next week’s 10th annual National Tire Safety Week (June 5-11), an initiative of RMA’s Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire maintenance education program.

Fairfax police driving instructors first drove vehicles with properly inflated tires and then vehicles with significantly under inflated tires through simple maneuvers to demonstrate how vehicle handling is negatively affected by poor tire maintenance.

According to a RMA survey, millions of U.S. drivers do not know how to properly check tire pressure. This puts them and others at risk and wastes fuel. The survey found that 85 percent of motorists do not know how to properly inflate tires. Under inflated tires pose a safety risk because they generate heat inside the tire, which can cause damage that leads to failure. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that properly inflated tires will improve vehicle fuel economy by 3.3 percent and save up to 12 cents per gallon at the pump.

“Ten years ago, NHTSA and AAA helped RMA launch National Tire Safety Week,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “Our partnership and efforts continue today because our job is not finished. Too many drivers fail to do one simple task every month that will reduce their safety risk and help our nation conserve valuable natural resources. Checking tire pressure takes just five minutes and it’s worth every second.”

NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland, whose agency is charged with creating and enforcing national highway safety standards for vehicles and tires said, “Tires are a critical safety component on vehicles and the only parts that touch the road. NHTSA imposes stringent testing requirements for every tire sold in the U.S. to ensure the strongest consumer protection possible. But, the only way to ensure the continued safety performance of tires is for consumers to play their part with regular maintenance starting with inflation pressure. Without the right pressure, consumers are risking safety.”

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AAA Vice President for Public Affairs Kathleen Marvaso noted that AAA will respond to more than one million motorist assistance requests for tire related issues this summer alone, “This summer, AAA anticipates it will come to the rescue of 1.2 million stranded motorists with tire-related issues. Many of these can be avoided by taking a few minutes once a month to ensure tires are properly inflated. During AAA Car Care Month vehicle inspections, technicians found tire issues were the most frequently occurring problem as one out of five vehicles inspected had incorrect tire pressure levels. Improper pressure levels not only put driver’s safety at risk but also can cost them extra money in gasoline and tire replacement costs during a time when many are looking to save money.”

Captain Susan Collins, Commander of the Fairfax County Police Traffic Division, said the department works hard to educate county residents about important vehicle maintenance and safety information. “Fairfax officers too often see the consequences of poorly maintained vehicles on county roads,” Collins said. “We appreciate the opportunity to work with industry, safety advocates and government agencies to educate drivers. Tires that are under inflated or bald will not grip the road properly and that increases the risk of crash. We urge all motorists to follow simple tire care tips to make sure they get to where they’re going safely.”

RMA urges all motorists to Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART. PART is an acronym for Pressure, Alignment, Rotation and Tread – the four key elements of tire care.

· Pressure: Check air pressure, under-inflation is the leading cause of wear and tear of tires

· Alignment: Misalignment of wheels in the front or rear can cause uneven and rapid tread-wear

· Rotation: Regularly rotating your vehicle’s tires will help you achieve more uniform wear

· Tread: Advanced and unusual wear can reduce the ability of tread to grip the road in adverse conditions

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 52 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA sets and enforces safety performance standards for motor vehicles and equipment, and through grants to state and local governments enables them to conduct effective local highway safety programs. NHTSA investigates safety defects in motor vehicles, sets and enforces fuel economy standards, helps states and local communities reduce the threat of drunk drivers, promotes the use of safety belts, child safety seats and air bags, investigates odometer fraud, establishes and enforces vehicle anti-theft regulations and provides consumer information on motor vehicle safety topics


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