BBB offer tips for Memorial Day traveling

  
     
May 24, 2017

BBB recommends tips for a safe road trip this weekend

Summertime is almost here, which means vacations and road trips are on the horizon for millions of Americans. Memorial Day travel will be the busiest since 2005, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). Whether you’re hitting the road Memorial Day weekend or for an upcoming vacation, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas advises people to prepare for safe travels.

Despite higher gas prices this year, AAA Travel predicts that more than 34 million Americans will hit the road this Memorial Day weekend. AAA also expects more than 330,000 motorists will need roadside assistance due to car troubles such as lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. However, there are some preventative steps drivers can take to avoid any mishaps.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recommends getting your vehicle serviced before you hit the road, especially if you plan on taking a long road trip. Regular maintenance such as oil changes, battery checks and tire rotations could prevent breakdowns, or worse, accidents.

So, before you hit the road, BBB recommends the following tips:

  • Check with BBB. When looking for an auto mechanic, check out a company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org. Business Profiles include contact information for a business, complaint history and customer reviews.
  • Get a quick tune-up. Have your entire vehicle thoroughly checked by a trustworthy auto mechanic. According to AAA, batteries and tires are the most common mechanical reasons for Roadside Assistance calls. Vehicles can also suffer from unforeseen engine, transmission and brake problems. A vehicle tune-up may include the following maintenance:
    • Tire checkMake sure to put air in your tires or have them rotated before a road trip. Flat tires are a common reason for roadside assistance calls. Also, unusual wear patterns, improper inflation or a hidden puncture can lead to more serious problems later.
    • Battery checkLike flat tires, dead batteries are another reason for roadside assistance calls. If your car now struggles to start, or if your battery is more than three years old, get a check-up to avoid possibly getting stranded.
  • Create a vehicle safety kit. Holiday driving means a lot of drivers will be traveling and even a well-maintained vehicle can break down. Basics for an emergency roadside kit include blankets, a flashlight with extra batteries, a radio, a first aid kit and jumper cables. You may also consider packing non-perishable foods, like granola bars and nuts, and bottled water.
  • Check for recalls. On the NHTSA’s website safercar.gov, car owners can search for recalls by the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). NHTSA also offers additional safety information based on a vehicle’s make, model and model year.
  • Bring extra set of keys. According to the AAA, getting locked out of your car makes up a substantial portion of calls, even though wireless “smart key” technology is more common. To avoid lockouts, replace your smart key’s battery every two years, and keep it in your pocket (versus somewhere in the car) or have a passenger bring a spare key.

 

For more tips and information, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s advice on auto repair basics

Media Contacts:

Austin

Erin Dufner
512.206.2805
edufner@austin.bbb.org 

Bryan/College Station 

Bill McGuire
979.777.1263
bmcguire@bryan.bbb.org

Corpus Christi/Victoria

Kelly Trevino
361.945.7352
ktrevino@corpuschristi.bbb.org

Permian Basin 

Heather Massey
432.741.2592
hmassey@permianbasin.bbb.org

San Antonio/Laredo

Miguel Segura
210.260.9843
msegura@sanantonio.bbb.org

Waco 

Adam Price
254.449.1567
aprice@waco.bbb.org