Slow Down Move Over

by Gwen Newell

Following recent crashes involving tow truck operators in the area, AAA Carolinas of The Auto Club Group 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 “Slow Down, Move Over” campaign is intended to communicate and bring awareness to the Move Over Law – a law that protects emergency responders, including our tow truck operators.

AAA is in the business of rescuing millions of stranded motorists across the country each year. 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. The towing industry is 15 times more deadlier than all other private industries combined.

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).

As part of AAA’s commitment to urge motorists to “Slow Down, Move Over,” a handful of AAA service vehicles have been wrapped with the awareness message in the Carolinas.

For truck photos click here SDMO

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 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.

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