Despite gas prices being 31 percent higher this Memorial Day than last year, 64 percent of families who are going to travel this summer are expected to drive, according to the American Automobile Association.

Consumer Protection Advocate Mike Bannon joined Chris Ermer last week on UpWords to discuss how the internet has affected AAA, which offers roadside assistance, insurance and other services to millions of members in the United States and Canada.

Bannon said AAA isn’t yet obsolete, but it has been impacted by the ease of acquiring services with technology.

“It’s very easy now if you have a smartphone just to put into a search and say, ‘tow trucks near me’ and typically you can get somebody pretty quick,” Bannon said.

Bannon said that some people don’t know that the AARP offers similar services as AAA. The benefit of using such services, he said, is that tow truck drivers and other companies get vetted. Because there is more competition in the field, prices have dropped, Bannon said.

Bannon said EZ Pass can help drivers go through toll roads more smoothly during their trips.

“It’s easy, and it makes it convenient, and sometimes you can bypass some traffic,” he said. “And you can get a discount for it.”

For more consumer protection tips, tune in Tuesday afternoons at 1 p.m. for UpWords with Chris Ermer on WBCB 1490 AM and video streamed on WBCB’s Facebook page.

WBCB’s Evan Easterling contributed to this report.