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24 December 2012
An Olympic year for breakdowns, windscreens, wasps and nights away in hotels
The AA came to the rescue of almost 3.5 million members whose vehicles broke down in 2012.
Figures from the UK’s biggest motoring organisation reveal that Friday, 3 February, was the busiest day for breakdowns in 2012 with around 19,000 call-outs due to the freezing weather.
Flat tyres and other tyre problems (357,500) was the second most common call-out followed by problems with lights (169,000).
(Figures quoted to the nearest 500.)
Besides the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee, 2012 also saw:
Andy Smith, AA patrol of the year, says: "It's been a busy year for the whole country and the AA has been no exception – it's good to know we've helped so many members get on their way this year.
"Our top breakdowns are remarkably consistent but we’ve noticed a marked increase in the number of problems with lights over the last 12 months, which may show that fewer drivers feel able to change bulbs themselves.
"Although modern cars have longer service intervals, the basics of car maintenance haven't really changed, so it still pays to pop the bonnet and do the regular checks.
"However, although up to half of breakdowns are preventable, often you have no control over them which can potentially leave you in a stressful and dangerous situation.
"Whether it's on a Monday morning or a Sunday night, breakdown cover offers year-round peace of mind for far less than the cost of one-off emergency assistance from a garage."
The AA’s Home Emergency Response service saved customers from all kinds of problems in their homes.
Hotel inspectors continued to rate the nation’s hotels and B&Bs, spending a whopping 3,154 nights away inspecting establishments.
The AA Charitable Trust was awarded a prestigious Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for the development and promotion of its free ‘Drive Confident’ courses, which are run through the AA Driving School.
Some parents admitted spending 50 hours a month driving mum and dad's taxi
As well as that, research from the AA Driving School told many parents what they already knew – they spend a very long time transporting their children about in the car. Some parents admitted they spend as much as 50 hours a month driving mum and dad's taxi – which amounts to an enormous 25 days a year.
On the plus side, there's drive to encourage the next generation of motorists. Around 19 AA Driving School instructors were on hand to help under-17s have their first experience of driving at AA World at the Silverstone Classic in July.
Insurance has been very topical this year with changes to legislation, flooding and the European court of Justice gender ruling and AA Insurance has commented regularly on these issues. Among the more interesting highlights during the year were:
(24 December 2012)