The Automobile Association is an institution that was created in Britain in 1905 and has a worldwide influence with its AA maps, online routemaster and AA street maps.
One fantastic element is that the auto club provides the AA roadwatch service, an invaluable tool that has been on the airwaves since 1972. It is broadcast and picked up by drivers that have utilised the traffic updates function on their car stereos. The constantly updated report covers car crashes, accidents and road closures throughout the country, allowing the driver to update their travel arrangements. In today's fast moving society, the AA is the 'fourth emergency service' and have moved forward tremendously. Heavy duty trucks and vans are still the mainstay of the organisation, but if a vehicle is stuck in a congested area or if the car can be dealt with at the roadside i.e. flat batteries, flat tyres/no petrol, then an AA motorcyclist is dispatched to the scene. The use of two wheels also cuts down response times and improves the service provided to the customers.
Before planning a long distance journey or tour that the driver has never undertaken, a route will have to be planned in advance. If the driver is a unsure of how to use a computer, then AA maps will be the first port of call to start their trip. The roadmaps can be purchased from most good shops, garages and car speciality outlets and is relatively easy to us. For a drive from Glasgow to London, the driver will plot a course using the AA map route grid reference system and detailed descriptions to get them precisely to their destination, and back if need be. Although for those who can use computers, the AA website, Theaa.com, gives the user access to the AA routeplanner which covers the UK, Ireland and Europe. How to use the map One puts their starting and finishing address in to the system and plots the course, which the user can write down or print for themselves or their navigator. The site also gives information on traffic news, maps and accommodation and encompasses everything a car owner will require: insurance, breakdown cover, driving school, AA shop et al. Of course, if you have it, the AA sat-nav and software can be programmed in seconds to plot the relevant course and destination with just a touch of some buttons.
Before you go:
A few simple check before starting a long journey is necessary: Are AA maps, driving licence, road tax and insurance for your car up-to-date? Is the car roadworthy with fuel, water and oil? Is breakdown UK assistance with RAC motoring or the AA covered?