AAA Shares Vehicle Maintenance and Driving Tips for 751,000 Tennessee Travelers Planning

NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) — More than 882,000 Tennessees are expected to drive at least 50 miles over Memorial Day weekend, including about 751,000 who will take road trips, according to AAA.

However, thousands of such motorists will face problems with cars, experts predict.

In fact, officials predict that AAA will rescue more than 483,000 stranded motorists nationwide during the holiday weekend, with flat tires, dead batteries, and blockages being the most common causes.

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According to a recent AAA survey, 55% of Tennessees plan to have a professional vehicle inspection before their summer trips, 25% will do their own inspection, and 12% do not plan to have an inspection.

“A properly maintained vehicle is critical to a successful and safe ride,” said Megan Cooper, spokesperson for AAA – The Auto Club Group. “We encourage all drivers to get a pre-trip inspection of their tires, battery, brakes, fluids and other essentials. This can help prevent breakage before it happens.”

Before you hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, check out these AAA tips for preventing car problems:

Check Your Tires: AAA recommends checking all of your tires, including the spare tire, at least once a month and before a long trip. You should pay special attention to both tire pressure and tread depth. Check the battery: The average life of a car battery is three to five years. If your engine is slow to start and/or your headlights are dim, this may mean that your battery is close to being drained. Other signs of wear include visual signs of damage or corrosion.
Drivers may request to have the battery checked at an AAA Service Center or Authorized Auto Repair Center, but AAA may also come to the Competitor to check and, if necessary, replace the battery on site. Pay attention to the brakes: If you hear a screeching noise or feel vibration when using the brakes, take your car to a garage to have your brakes checked. Replace wiper blades and refill windscreen cleaner. Because rubber wiper blades wear naturally over time, most manufacturers recommend replacing them every 6 to 12 months. If the wipers leave marks or don’t completely clear the windshield, you should replace the wipers. Add engine oil and other fluids. Check that the level of engine oil, coolant and brake fluid, transmission fluid and power steering fluid is correct for safe vehicle operation. If you need to add liquids, use products that meet the specifications in the user manual. Restock your emergency kit: The AAA recommends keeping a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle, including a flashlight, extra fresh batteries, first aid supplies, drinking water, non-perishable snacks for people and pets, car battery booster cables, emergency flares. or reflectors, raincoat, basic tool kit, duct tape, gloves, and rags or paper towels. Officers call for safety after several boating deaths in Tennessee ahead of Memorial Day

While car preparation is an important step for any trip, it is also important for drivers to be prepared to focus on the road. AAA has issued a reminder of the following safe driving habits:

Watch your speed: According to the AAA, speeding has been responsible for about one-third of all traffic deaths in more than 20 years, so be sure to obey the speed limit and slow down if conditions warrant. Keep your eyes on the road: “Each year, distracted drivers kill thousands of people,” the AAA said in a statement. “Taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles the risk of a crash.”
Examples of potential distractions include using mobile phones, eating, drinking, or interacting with other passengers. By focusing on the road, drivers can notice and avoid possible hazards that might otherwise lead to an accident. Driving while sober: Drugs and alcohol negatively affect the brain functions necessary for safe driving, such as the ability to assess the situation, motor skills, memory, and reaction time. Therefore, the AAA urges you not to drive after ingesting any substance that may impair your ability to drive. Rest: Sleepy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving, according to the AAA. Not only do drivers need to get plenty of rest before a big trip, you also need to take breaks every 100 miles or every two hours during a trip. If you start to get tired, you are asked to stop. Traveling this summer? Expect big prices and big crowds

Officials are also advising drivers to watch out for ambulances, tow trucks and vehicles with headlights or flashers on. If you see them, move one lane. If you can’t move, slow down to get around them safely.

Even if you are just a passenger, you are strongly encouraged to help identify any problems on the road, as well as remind the driver to slow down and move over.

In addition, motorists should beware of people who are in or near a disabled vehicle on the side of the road.

“AAA roadside technicians are risking their lives to save hundreds of thousands of drivers stranded on the side of the road due to vehicle problems,” Cooper added. “We urge drivers to focus on the road and its shoulders. Whether it’s first responders, a tow truck, or a disabled vehicle, if you see flashing lights, stand back so everyone can safely return home in time for the holiday.”

The AAA Tow to Go program will restart on Memorial Day weekend.

AAA has many resources to help with road trips, such as a database of AAA-approved auto repair shops; tool for estimating repair costs, including parts, labor, and an AAA member discount; and a gas cost calculator.

The AAA Tow to Go program will also be active from Friday, May 26 at 6:00 pm to Tuesday, May 30 at 6:00 am, offering free and confidential rides to AAA members and non-members in several states, including Tennessee.

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