Why AAA Says Better Technology May Lead to More Car Problems in NJ
Despite higher vehicle reliability and better technology, AAA Mid-Atlantic says road crews are performing more "roadside rescues" than ever before.
Tracy Noble of AAA/Mid-Atlantic says in New Jersey, crews responded to 750,000 calls for roadside assistance last year.
"It's higher than we have seen in previous years," Noble said.
Nationwide, AAA rescued a record-breaking 32 million drivers in 2015. Most of the rescues were for vehicles that are five years old or newer, Noble said.
She said the biggest chunk of those calls - 46 percent - were requests for a tow truck, while 17 percent of the calls were for flat tires. Noble said one factor leading to the high number of calls involves better vehicle reliability, which Noble believes has resulted in complacency.
"If we ignore maintenance or if we're not proactive with it then, unfortunately, people wind up stranded on the roadways," she said.
Battery replacements were the third-highest cause of breakdown calls, followed by vehicle lockouts. Noble said AAA is finding glitches with the electronic, keyless ignitions that are now popular in vehicles.
"Technology, in this case, is not necessarily helping motorists," she said.
According to Noble, vehicle owners used to be more diligent about maintenance and reading their owner's manuals.
"People do not carry emergency kits in their vehicles," Noble said. "We found that more than 40 percent of motorists do not carry an emergency kit, and that is something that is very easy to do."