Excessive heat is putting Southern Arizona vehicles to the test this week. Without preventive maintenance, this increases the likelihood of a motorist experiencing a vehicle failure, leaving them unexpectedly — and dangerously — stranded on the side of the road. As a result, AAA would like to remind motorists about the importance of vehicle maintenance, as well as the need to have an emergency roadside plan.

In the event that a vehicle failure does occur, AAA advises motorists to adhere to the following emergency roadside plan:

1. Turn on four-way flashers and pull completely off the roadway, if possible. On a freeway/highway, use the nearest exit, if possible. If unable to exit, pull the vehicle to the far right side of the roadway, on the right side of the solid, white line. Do not pull into, or stop in the gore area, which divides the roadway from the exit.

2. If you’re unable to exit the roadway, stay in your vehicle and remain buckled. Call AAA or your emergency roadside provider.

3. If you feel that you are in danger, let the dispatcher know immediately. Or, if your vehicle is stopped on the travel portion of the roadway, call 911.

4. Know your location in order to expedite help. Pay attention to the last exit if on a freeway, mile markers or signs, and your direction of travel.

5. Stay with your vehicle at all times, so long as it is safe to do so.

6. Know what is and what is not provided in your emergency roadside coverage. For example, some providers offer mobile battery service and replacement, other carriers do not. Knowing these details can help avoid a costly situation, and save time.

7. To help repair a minor vehicle fix, or at least make the wait for help more bearable, have an emergency car care kit handy in the vehicle. The kit should include water, non-perishable food items, jumper cables, a flashlight, extra batteries, duct tape, and a safety vest as well as first-aid items. Kits can be assembled at home or purchased pre-assembled.

AAA also advises motorists to always travel with a cell phone and car charger, which will enable them to summon help. Members with an iPhone can request help through the new, free Emergency Roadside Assistance app. Members who are Sprint customers can activate the free AAA FindMe™ service, which enables members to have their GPS location sent to AAA when requesting roadside assistance. Both systems tell the dispatcher exactly where you are, providing faster service by allowing them to send the emergency vehicle that is closest to your location.

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