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AAA: Every two weeks an emergency responder is killed on a roadside

roadside assistance
Posted at 3:17 PM, Feb 09, 2023

AAA says on average, two emergency responders are killed after being struck each month by a driver on a roadway who is not obeying the law.

The agency calls it one of America's most lethal jobs. Those responders include tow workers.

Drivers are expected to move over to an adjacent lane to give roadside crews space to do their job safety. But, that doesn't always happen, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, AAA reported.

According to AAA, citing government data, tow operators were killed at a rate of around 43 deaths per 100,000 workers.

To address this problem, AAA is looking at Move Over laws, which all 50 U.S. states have. The agency says that awareness is the cause of the inconsistencies.

Nighttime lights and flares were found to have a big impact on getting drivers to obey laws and move over to give workers a safe space.

Cliff Ruud, AAA’s managing director of automotive solutions said, “AAA is using this research to promote the adoption of lifesaving countermeasures to protect tow workers and first responders. AAA is sharing these findings with other impacted industries and traffic safety advocates."

Ruud said AAA will "continue educating drivers about the need to obey move-over laws because doing so saves lives.”

An AAA report found that when flares and cones were added to the scene of an incident during the day or night it significantly increased the likelihood that drivers would move over a lane to give workers and the vehicle that is disabled a safe space.