Car Breakdown On A Trip Can Lead To Heat-Related Illness


ORLANDO, Fla. (UPI) — AAA says it expects to aid more than 8 million motorists this summer, and while any breakdown is inconvenient, for some it can cause health problems as well.

“The best way to avoid a breakdown during a trip is to ensure your car is properly maintained before hitting the road,” John Nielsen, AAA managing director of automotive engineering and repair, said in a statement.

Summer heat breaks down car batteries internally and accelerates the rate of corrosion on terminals. Both conditions can lead to insufficient electrical power being available and leave a motorist stranded without warning.

Very young, very old or chronically ill people can suffer heat-related illnesses from spending time in a vehicle without air-conditioning at the side of the road.

If a battery is more than three years old, have it tested by a professional technician to help avoid unexpected trouble, Nielsen said. In addition, always pack bottled water, food and car shades to protect passengers from the sun.

Automotive air conditioning systems operating marginally are more likely to fail in hot weather.

If there is a decrease in cooling capability, have the air conditioning system examined by a qualified technician before setting out on a trip, Nielsen advised.

“Roughly 1 million drivers will call AAA for help with a flat tire during the summer travel season, and many of those problems could be avoided with a quick tire inspection,” Nielsen said. “Begin every tire inspection with a pressure check when the tires are cold and the car has not been driven recently.”

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