The AAA family is deeply saddened by the death of a service provider over the July 4th holiday weekend. Thirty-two-year-old Glenn Ewing was placing a AAA member’s vehicle on the back of a tow truck when he was tragically hit by a passing vehicle. Glenn’s death underscores why Slow Down, Move Over laws are critical to safety and why the best action motorists can take to keep someone safe is to slow down and move over into the next lane, if they can do so safely.
Recent data reveals 23 roadside workers and first responders – one every other week – lose their life at the roadside, while hundreds more are injured while assisting motorists. Following this recent tragedy, AAA is urging motorists to Slow Down, Move Over to help protect emergency workers and law enforcement who are providing assistance to those in need on the roadside.
The Move Over law requires motorists – if it is safe to do so – move a lane over for emergency vehicles, utility workers and law enforcement stopped alongside the road. While all fifty states have Move Over laws, fewer than 30 percent of Americans are aware that the laws exist, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Because AAA is in the business of rescuing millions of stranded motorists across the country each year, it’s important to not only protect roadside workers but improve highway safety as well. We advise following these tips on the highways:
- Always remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving.
- Maintain a visual lead of everything going on 20 to 30 seconds ahead of you. This gives you time to see problems ahead and change lanes and adjust speed accordingly.
- Emergencies can occur anywhere on the road. When you see flashing lights, slow down and prepare well in advance to change lanes. Allow others to merge into your lane when necessary.
- Don’t follow semi-trucks or other large vehicles too closely. If a truck moves into a left-hand lane, don’t speed around the right side. They are changing lanes for a reason; be prepared to change lanes yourself.
- When road conditions are slick, don’t make sudden lane changes which can cause an uncontrollable skid. Change lanes early and move over gradually.
If you are unable to move over, slow down to a safe speed taking into consideration that you are approaching a workspace where pedestrians are present.