Mar 15,2006 00:00
Mobile phones have become a lifeline for North American motorists. According to the Cellular Telephone Industry Association, more than 73 million calls are placed to 911 hotlines from cell phones every year. AAA handles an additional 14 million calls for emergency roadside assistance from cell callers.
"Your cell phone can be perceived as a companion or a status symbol, but when you really need it, it can be your most important personal safety device," said John Nielsen, director of AAA's Approved Auto Repair Network. "Like a best friend, a cell phone can be comforting to those driving alone; they feel safer just knowing help is within reach."
Now with assistance from AAA, this help can include referrals to trustworthy auto maintenance and repair businesses throughout the United States and Canada.
This service is a boon to those traveling far from home, or just across town, if access to the closest reputable repair shop is required due to mechanical trouble on the road.
For reliable assistance with vehicle repairs and maintenance, AAA has identified a network of approved repair facilities that include new car dealerships and independent repair shops. These shops meet AAA's strict quality standards and display AAA's logo. A phone call to 1-800-AAA-HELP or to a local AAA club phone number for emergency road service is all that is required to find the nearest AAA-approved shop.
Calling ahead is always a good idea when arranging for auto repairs. Find out if the shop will be open, if they have time to work on your vehicle, if the repairs can be completed in a timely manner and if they have experience working with the make and model of the vehicle you drive.
Cell phones and safety go hand in hand. However, to maintain safety, AAA suggests that motorists always park safely off the roadway when using a cellular phone.
Travelers seeking point-to-point driving directions can obtain an Internet TripTik by visiting www.aaamaps.com. The TripTik can be configured to include additional information on lodging, restaurants and local attractions. AAA members can access an even wider range of features such as campsites, merchants offering AAA discounts, and the locations of AAA-approved repair facilities.