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Jan/Feb 2012 Issue

Don’t strike out with your spare

Most people likely have heard the old adage about kicking tires during the car-buying process, but now when savvy buyers are searching out the spare tire to kick, there may not be one at all.

Recent pressures on auto manufacturers to increase fuel economy have resulted in efforts to reduce vehicle weight. In fact, AAA’s research reveals that 13 percent of all new cars sold in the first half of 2011 had no spare tire. This streamlining includes replacing the spare with run-flat tires that allow the car to be driven to a safe location for repair, roadside inflator kits or emergency sealants.

To prepare yourself before you’re at the roadside kicking the tires in frustration, AAA advises motorists to look for their car’s spare tire. If there is one, be sure it is properly inflated and securely stowed.

If you cannot locate a spare, look for the alternative, like an inflator kit or emergency sealant. Note that such repairs won’t work on a tire that’s been severely damaged.

If you’d prefer not to change or repair the tire yourself–or if you have another type of breakdown–remember that you can call AAA for roadside assistance anytime at (800) AAA-HELP (222-4357), or you can use use your AAA Roadside app.

View list of models without a spare.

Traffic crashes cost motorists nearly $300 billion yearly

The annual societal cost of traffic crashes is $299.5 billion, more than three times the $97.7 billion cost of congestion, according to a new report.

AAA’s “Crashes vs. Congestion–What’s the Cost to Society?” report highlights the overwhelming economic impact traffic crashes have and underscores the importance of a long-term, multi-year federal transportation bill that will provide the necessary and sustained investments that lead to better and safer roads. According to the study conducted for AAA by Cambridge Systematics, the overall cost of crashes ($299.5 billion) equates to an annual per person cost of $1,522, compared to $590 per person annually for congestion ($97.7 billion overall). The cost of crashes is based on medical and emergency services, lost earnings, property damage, lost quality of life, and more.

flat tire

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