AAA: Move Over, Slow Down, Save Lives
Unfortunately, across the nation, an average of 23 tow operators are killed at the roadside every year, with one service provider on average being killed in the line of duty every other week.
“You have to remember when you come across blinking lights to move over and slow down,” said Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs, AAA East Central. “Tow truck drivers and first responders risk their lives every day to rescue and protect those who are broken down on the road, and we all owe it to them to do our part in helping them to get home safely.”
The effects of slowing down are not trivial when it comes to saving lives. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian is more than twice as likely to be killed if they are hit by a car traveling at 35 mph, compared to 25 mph. While highway speeds are much higher than this, the data show just how much of a factor speed plays in the severity of a roadside crash.
A contributing factor to the statistics of roadside crashes is that many people don’t know about laws requiring motorists to slow down and move over when approaching vehicles stopped on the roadside. In Pennsylvania, the “Steer Clear” law requires drivers to move over or slow down when they encounter an emergency scene, traffic stop, or disabled vehicle. According to Pennsylvania State Police, when approaching or passing an emergency response area, a motorist is to:
Pass in a lane not adjacent to that of the emergency response area, if possible; or
If passing in a nonadjacent lane is impossible, illegal, or unsafe, pass the emergency response area at a careful and prudent reduced speed reasonable for safely passing the emergency response area.
AAA East Central urges motorists to abide by the law for the sake of tow drivers, construction workers, law enforcement, and emergency responders.
“Don’t forget, slowing down and moving over can be the difference between someone living or dying,” added Podguski.
AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 76 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.
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