OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma AAA said it has seen a spike in heat-related breakdowns, answering 500 more calls this week than the same time span in 2021.
AAA in Oklahoma said they have responded to more than 2,600 calls within a three-day period this week. The agency said the spike in calls were due to the extreme temperatures. So, they want to remind drivers to be aware of the added stress high temperatures that take place not only on vehicles, but also on those performing roadside assistance.
“Just like everything else that’s really being tested in this heat, our vehicles are under extreme pressure and we’ve seen that with a major spike in calls from AAA members in Oklahoma,” said Leslie Gamble, manager, Public and Government Affairs, AAA Oklahoma.
With each day of triple digit heat, chances for car breakdowns has increased. AAA wants to remind you to be prepared if you run into a problem.
“It can turn into a human emergency if you are stranded by the side of the road and without water, that kind of thing to keep you cool during this heat,” said Gamble.
Gamble says the majority of calls this week required a tow.
Some things drivers can do to be prepared are check your batteries, tires, fluids and coolant before leaving.
“As the heat continues to progress, it’s wearing down those vehicle batteries and tires and the fluids in those vehicles… So, it’ll make them even more vulnerable to failure if they haven’t been checked out,” said Gamble.
AAA suggested having a spare battery and tire in your car, avoid overheating, keep air flowing, seek shade when parked and stay safe during standstill traffic.
“Those who take prevention measures and are mindful of how vulnerable their vehicles are in this weather, may choose to take a different vehicle because of this weather,” said Gamble.
Gamble also said older cars have a higher chance of failing if they are 10 years or older.
“We plan to have a vehicle that we believe is best suited for this kind of extreme weather. And if you have those options during these days, that’s going to be of great benefit, is to choose a vehicle that is most likely to resist these extreme temperatures. We know that vehicles that are older have a four times more likely chance of failing in this extreme heat, said Gamble.
Bringing on extra staff is not an option for Oklahoma AAA. Like many other businesses, they’re stretched thin, but still prioritizing health of Oklahoman’s during the time of this heat wave.
AAA in Oklahoma doesn’t expect to see things changing with the volume of calls anytime soon so they are expecting to continue to respond to more calls into next week.