Car problems are worse in summer

With sweltering temperatures once again blasting Oklahoma, AAA is preparing for a flood of calls from members stranded roadside. That’s because as temperatures spike, calls for roadside assistance spike as well.

In fact, AAA Oklahoma responds to more calls from members needing help on the road in the summertime than the auto club does during the winter months,

“The most common calls for service associated with scorching temperatures include overheated vehicles, tire problems, and battery failures,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. “Our AAA auto experts tell me half of all the breakdowns they see could have been prevented with proper maintenance. Keeping an eye on your car battery is especially important because most of them typically last no more than three years in Oklahoma. For batteries approaching the end of their lifespan, the scorching summer heat can be enough to push them over their limits.”

While not in anyone’s plans, it’s good to know what to do in the event of a breakdown. AAA says:

  • Pull completely off the roadway, if possible. If you are on a freeway or turnpike, take the nearest exit. Drive as far away from traffic as possible, even if you have a flat tire.
  • If you’re not able to exit the roadway safely, stay in your vehicle, remain buckled-in, and call for roadside assistance.
  • If you feel that you are in danger (for example, sitting alongside a busy freeway), give your roadside provider that information.
  • Knowing where you are will allow help to reach you more quickly. Keep track mentally of your location by noting the last exit you passed and the numbers on the highway mile markers you’re passing.
  • Stay with your vehicle unless it is unsafe to do so.

If you see a stranded driver or tow truck on the side of the road, don’t forget to adhere to Oklahoma’s “Move Over Law.” Motorists are required to move to the far lane or slow down for any vehicle that is displaying flashing lights alongside a roadway. According to a recent survey, AAA fleet drivers say nearly 40 percent of drivers do not obey this law. Fifty percent of them report near-hits at least once weekly while performing roadside assistance duties.