Thousands of stranded motorists expected

Dead batteries, flat tires and other car problems. They don’t spell Christmas cheer, but they’re a reality of holiday travel.

AAA is expecting that it will help 1.3 million stranded motorists during the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s holidays. In addition, AAA projects it will handle:

  • 280,000 dead batteries
  • 170,000 sets of keys locked inside vehicles
  • 170,000 tire changes
  • 50,000 failing batteries on the roadside

“Becoming stranded on the roadway can quickly put a damper on your holiday spirit. Many motorists can avoid roadside trouble with a little preventative maintenance and careful driving,” Marshall L. Doney, AAA Automotive vice president, said in a news release. “Whether it’s a trip to the mall for last-minute shopping or a road trip to visit family, having your vehicle properly maintained and prepared for winter weather will help ensure it gets you to your destination safely.”

In advance of Thanksgiving, the Car Care Council offered a 10-minute pre-trip checkup, which included:

– Checking fluids: This should include engine oil, power steering and brake and transmission fluids, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

– Checking hoses and belts: Be sure to make sure hoses and belts aren’t cracked, brittle, frayed or loose.

– Checking tires: In addition to tire pressure, be sure to make the tread. Also look for bulges and bald spots.

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