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AAA Gets a Workout as More People Call for Assistance Than Ever Before

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Push-to-start ignition button.

Photo: Peas

Fancier and more intricate technology can do amazing things, making your car into a connected, keyless-starting, fuel-efficient machine. However, according to a study by the American Automobile Association, these more advanced technologies seem to have caused more roadside problems than ever, as AAA rescued a record 32 million drivers last year, with more of these issues stemming from batteries, flat tires, and key problems than ever.

AAA managing director of automotive solutions Cliff Ruud explained how more advanced technology has contributed to this breakdown record: “Sleek, low-profile tires are highly susceptible to damage,” he said to Fortune, “electronic keyless ignitions can zap battery life, and despite advanced warning systems, more than half a million drivers ran out of gas last year.”

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The keyless ignition problem is that, if the keys are stored too close to the car, the battery can be drained as the vehicle holds itself in readiness for someone to push a button on the fob, and a keyless ignition can easily lock a forgetful driver out of the car while the engine is running. As for the tires, AAA attributes having to rescue people with flat tires mostly to automakers increasingly omitting the spare tire on new vehicles, instead installing tire inflator kits to save space and weight. As for the running out of gas problem, it seems the real source of the problem is sitting in the driver’s seat, as people use these warning systems to push the limits between fill-ups.

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News Source: Fortune