Millions of Motorists Will Be Stranded This Summer, AAA Says


AAA expects to get a call from 7 million American motorists experiencing car trouble this summer, according to a new survey published Thursday.

The travel group said it expects most of the stranded drivers to face dead batteries, flat tires and keys locked inside their vehicles. AAA’s survey revealed that four out of 10 drivers are unprepared for breakdowns, even as three-quarters of all family vacationers plan to travel by car.

The survey also found that two-thirds of car owners have never had their car battery tested, and one out of five drivers do not know how to change a tire.

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

AAA recommends that drivers schedule a checkup for their vehicles before hitting the road for a summer trip. It also said drivers should carry an extra set of keys and pack an emergency kit, including a phone charger, flashlight, first-aid kit and jumper cables.

AAA also says gas prices have posted modest declines, roughly two weeks before the unofficial start to the summer. The national average was $2.36 a gallon Wednesday, down 3 cents compared to last month. Prices at the pump typically climb in the spring, but an unseasonable glut of gasoline is keeping prices low.