To Remain Merry This Holiday Season, AAA Urges Motorists Not To Become Another Breakdown Statistic

Orlando, Fla. – 11/10/2004

AAA, North America’s largest motor club is forecasting nearly 5 million motorists will require some form of emergency road service during this year’s holiday travel season. During the months of November and December, the most common roadside problems will involve a tow, a flat tire change, a battery jump start or replacement, lockout service or fuel delivery.

While AAA believes most types of breakdowns will increase this winter, its innovative approach to assisting motorists with battery-related problems will help reduce the number of jump-starts needed. This trend should keep the total number of road service problems approximately the same as last November and December; when AAA handled 4,900,000 calls for assistance.

In 1998, AAA began deploying a mobile battery service using specially equipped vans and light trucks. Last year, the service — which augments the organization’s well-known fleet of tow vehicles in most metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada — helped reduce the number of requests for battery related calls from 923,000 to 879,000 last year.

“This decrease”, said Margaret Pittlekow, managing director of AAA’s Emergency Road Service Network “is due to AAA’s unique ability to diagnose the reason for battery failure at the roadside, and get motorists back on the go by installing a new battery, if needed and requested.”

Of the 879,000 battery-related calls AAA handled last year, the AAA Battery Service replaced more than 36,000 batteries during the months of November and December.

In the upcoming November and December holiday season, AAA anticipates that the growing availability of its Battery Service will result in a 60 percent increase (to 50,000) in the number of batteries replaced.

In November and December 2003, AAA-affiliated service personnel towed 2.1 million cars and trucks; serviced 879,000 battery calls; unlocked 830,000 doors; changed 660,000 flat tires; provided fuel to 71,000 motorists that had run out of gas; and extracted 96,000 stuck vehicles. Another 197,000 motorists required miscellaneous roadside assistance from AAA.

To avoiding becoming a road service statistic this holiday season, AAA recommends consumers have their vehicles inspected and maintained by a qualified automotive technician.

AAA annually inspects and approves thousands of auto repair businesses across North America as a service to members and the public. To locate a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility, visit aaa.com or telephone your local AAA or Canadian Automobile Association club.

Motorists can request Emergency Road Service from AAA anywhere in North America, 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week by calling 1.800.AAA.HELP or logging on to www.AAA.com.

As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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