As the sweltering summer closes in on the Valley, residents are busy bracing for long months of triple-digit temperatures. However, the thermometer isn’t all that will be spiking this summer. Motorists should also be prepared for a vehicle breakdown, as AAA roadside assistance calls sharply increase during the summer months. To help motorists lessen their chances of roadside breakdowns, AAA is urging preparedness as triple digit temperatures emerge.
In the event that you experience a roadside failure, roadside assistance experts recommend drivers adhere to this breakdown plan:
• Turn on four-way flashers and pull completely off the roadway. If you are unable to do so, pull to the far right side of the roadway, on the right side of the solid, white line. If you are on a freeway or highway, do not pull into or stop in the gore area, which divides the exit from the roadway.
• If you cannot exit the roadway, remain buckled in your vehicle and call your emergency roadside provider.
• If you feel that you are in danger let the dispatcher know immediately. Or, if your vehicle is stopped on the travel portion of the roadway, call 911.
• Know your location in order to speed up help. Pay attention to the last exit on a freeway, mile markers or signs, and your direction of travel.
• Stay with your vehicle at all times, as long as it is safe to do so.
• Know your roadside coverage. Some providers charge for full or partial service and require payment up front, before service is rendered.
• Utilize available resources. If you do not have an emergency roadside provider and are traveling on a freeway in the Phoenix-Metro area, call the Department of Public Safety’s Freeway Service Patrol.
• Have an emergency car care kit on hand. The kit, which should be carried in your vehicle at all times, should consist of basic repair tools, jumper cables, flashlight, batteries, duct tape, safety vest, first-aid tools, drinking water and non-perishable food items. Drivers should also travel with a cell phone and charger to call for help should they need it.
Given the seasonal surge that triple-digit temperatures create in roadside assistance calls to AAA, the auto club also urges motorists to adhere to Arizona’s Move Over Law when approaching tow truck drivers and stranded motorists along state freeways and highways.
This law requires motorists to slow down and “move over” a lane, when safe to do so, in order to provide emergency vehicles and AAA tow truck drivers, who respond to more than 1,200 roadside calls every day, adequate space to safely assist those who have the misfortune of experiencing a roadside breakdown.
For more information on summer car care, visit AAA.com/auto.
• Linda Gorman is communications and public affairs director for AAA Arizona. Reach her at (602) 650-2716 or firstname.lastname@example.org.