AAA – The Auto Club Group in the Carolinas recognizes the month of March as ‘Move Over Awareness Month’ in South Carolina. In an effort to protect tow operators, first responders and roadside workers, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety wants to remind motorists to “Slow Down, Move Over” because their lives are on your shoulders.
Across the United States, one tow operator is killed in the line of duty every other week, and the towing industry is 15 times deadlier than all other private industries combined. While all 50 states have Move Over laws for emergency responders, which include tow trucks, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know about these laws, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
To protect roadside workers and improve highway safety, AAA offers these precautionary tips:
- 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, 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.
- Do not follow semi-trucks or other large vehicles too closely. If a truck moves into a left-hand lane, do not speed around the right side. They are changing lanes for a reason; be prepared to change lanes yourself.
- When road conditions are slick, do not 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.