With 64 percent of families gearing up to take road trips this summer, AAA warns that the majority of cars across the nation are at a higher-than-average risk for a breakdown.

A new analysis shows that vehicles 10 years and older are twice as likely to end up stranded on the side of the road and four times more likely to need a tow compared to newer vehicles.

Robert Sinclair, manager of media relations at AAA Northeast, says this data makes sense. In the service life of a vehicle, 10 years is the magic point where service manufacturers say brakes, engines and tires need to be updated, repaired or replaced prior to going past a certain number of miles.

In 2018, AAA predicts more than 7.69 million vehicles will break down in need of assistance. AAA also projects there will be more than 260,000 roadside rescues in New Jersey this summer. That's an increase of almost 2 percent compared to summer of 2017. Of those 260,000 rescues, AAA expects 42,702 flat tires in Jersey, 36,924 battery problems and 126,765 vehicles will need tows.

Sinclair strongly suggests that drivers follow the safe B-E-T rule. Brakes. Engines. Tires. Those are the three most common types of problems that could derail a road trip.

Sinclair says car batteries last between three and five years. It's always a good idea to have your battery tested before taking a long road trip especially if your car is close to the three- to five-year mark.

"As far as the engine is concerned, we're talking about water pumps. We are talking about timing belts. Get them serviced or replaced," says Sinclair. Much like a battery, the components of an engine cooling system may fail without warning. Drivers should look for fluids such as coolant pooling underneath the vehicle when it is parked as an indication of an impending problem.

Tires require the most attention. Sinclair says ideally you should be checking your tire pressure once a week.

He also says all vehicles — even the newer ones — are prone to typical roadside headaches like dead batteries, flat tires and even misplaced keys. One issue with the newer vehicles is that the electronics, especially with infotainment systems, can cause problems. But the big issue with the newer vehicles is that one third of them do not come with spare tires.

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