Nottingham, MD (Tuesday, May 25, 2021) –– The unofficial start to the summer travel season will kick off this weekend with more than 34 million Americans, including nearly 747,000 Marylanders, setting off on a road trip for Memorial Day. Before you hit the road, AAA recommends getting a vehicle inspection to check key components like the battery, engine, tires, brakes and fluid levels.

“As many cars sat idle most of last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important than ever to make sure that your car is road-ready before heading out this holiday,” said Ragina C. Ali, Public and Government Affairs Manager at AAA Mid-Atlantic. 

AAA Mid-Atlantic expects to help over 30,000 motorists region-wide this Memorial Day weekend, including more than 7,300 in Maryland. Nationwide, AAA Emergency Roadside crews expect to come to the aid of 468,000 motorists over the holiday weekend. Last year, AAA Mid-Atlantic came to the rescue of over 21,000 motorists, including more than 5,900 in Maryland.

“Dead batteries, lockouts and flat tires will be the leading reasons AAA members experience car trouble,” said Chris Storms, AAA’s Car Care District Director. In an effort to ensure cars are road-ready, travelers are advised to have their vehicles inspected by trusted repair shops, including AAA Car Care Centers. AAA Mid-Atlantic is also offering a free oil change for Maryland AAA members who visit any AAA Car Care Center in the state through June 30th. Members can schedule an appointment at AAA.com/CarCare.

“Given the increased number of people traveling for the holiday and the renewed enthusiasm for a Great American Road Trip, it is vital that travelers be prepared for emergencies,” said Ali. “Travelers can refer to AAA’s free COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Map and TripTik for the latest information to help plan their trip.” 

AAA offers the following advice as motorists take their next Great American Road Trip:

  • Schedule a checkup. Take your vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA’s Mobile Battery Service offers free battery testing for AAA members.
  • Prevent lockouts. Always take your keys when exiting the car and bring a spare car key on every trip. Avoid exposing keyless-entry remote or smart keys to water and always replace the key or fob battery when recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.
  • AAA Membership – Provides safety and peace of mind. AAA Members can download the AAA Mobile app, visit AAA.com or call 1-800-AAA-HELP to request roadside assistance.
  • Non-AAA Member – If you’re not a member, now through the end of May, you can receive 50% off a Classic Primary Membership with one free Classic Associate Membership. Use promo code PGAPR50 when you join by phone (1-844-945-0621), online or at any AAA retail location.

Additionally, AAA reminds drivers to take the following safety precautions on the road:

  • Drive distraction-free. Do not text or engage in distracting activities while driving, including interacting with a cell phone, talking with passengers or looking at other objects in the vehicle.
  • Comply with Move Over Laws. Observe the Move Over Law when law enforcement or emergency vehicles are on the side of the road. Change lanes or slow down to give sufficient clearance. This is the law in all 50 states.
  • Pull out of the traffic lanes if your car breaks down. If faced with a vehicle emergency, safely steer your car off the roadway. Turn on the emergency flashers to alert other drivers and exit the vehicle on the side facing away from traffic if possible. Once everyone is in a safe location, request assistance from a road service provider.
  • Pack an emergency kit. Every vehicle should be equipped with a well-stocked emergency kit that includes a mobile phone and car charger, a flashlight with extra batteries, a first-aid kit, a basic toolkit with tire pressure gauge and adjustable wrench, windshield washer solution, jumper cables and emergency flares or reflectors, drinking water, extra snacks and food for travelers and pets, as well as cleaning supplies, including disinfecting wipes.

Great American Road Trip Campaign 

As Americans begin their Great American Road Trips this summer, AAA is here and ready to help. We’ve compiled our favorite trip-planning resources, backed by more than 100 years of road-tested experience and expertise. AAA.com/RoadTrip is a free resource to help travelers find inspiration, explore destinations, plan the perfect route and get their vehicle road trip ready. 

Regardless of how you plan to get to your destination, AAA advises travelers to consult with a knowledgeable travel advisor to help plan their trips this Memorial Day. To get started and to learn more, visit AAA.com/Travel.


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