You’re driving on the open road and enjoying the scenery with your family when suddenly, the warning light comes on and your car’s temperature gauge skyrockets.
Or, you’ve just stopped to see a tourist attraction and now the car won’t start.
Vacationing by car can be a wonderful experience but the best family road trip can quickly take a wrong turn if your vehicle breaks down. And nothing is more unnerving than breaking down in an unfamiliar area or in the middle of a busy highway far from home.
According to the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA), members use CAA/AAA services about 20,000 times per year while travelling outside across North America.
Now, no matter the distance from home, drivers anywhere in Canada and the U.S. using the Canadian Automobile Association’s (CAA) newest iPhone app — the CAA Roadside App which launched recently and is free of charge.
“Having your vehicle break down miles from home is not only inconvenient, it can also leave travellers feeling helpless,” says Richard Gaspar, BCAA’s road assist contact centre manager.
“Vacationers are often driving in unfamiliar territory and it can be difficult to figure out exactly where you are. Some street signs are hard to read, or there may be no signs or mile markers at all to indicate where you’re located.”
Using GPS technology, the CAA Roadside App helps determine a motorist’s breakdown location and automatically submits the coordinates to the nearest CAA/AAA call centre.
“To reach our members quickly, it’s crucial that we collect key pieces of information about the breakdown,” explains Gaspar. “The iPhone application asks a comprehensive series of questions to gather valuable information such as a specific address or detailed description of the location, vehicle and nature of the breakdown. This helps roadside assistance providers locate the motorist immediately and ensures the technician is well prepared for the roadside rescue.”
And, if the motorist wants to speak to a roadside assistance service provider directly, they just need to tap their iPhone and the application will make the call.
To help travellers find a mechanic shop when they’re in an unfamiliar area, the CAA Roadside App also provides locations of CAA/AAA approved auto repair shops nearby.
To download the new CAA Roadside App, go to: CAA.ca/mobile or visit the iTunes App Store and search for “CAA Roadside.