By AAA of Western and Central New York
Crash Responder Safety Week is Nov. 14-18, 2022, and this year’s theme is “Respect Our Roadside Heroes.” AAA Western and Central New York reminds drivers to help protect workers and emergency personnel along roadways by following the “Slow Down, Move Over” law.
"Roadside deaths can be avoided if drivers slow down and move over to give workers a safety zone,” said Elizabeth Carey, director of public relations at AAA Western and Central New York. "Emergency roadside assistance is at the core of AAA’s traffic safety mission. Yet, the men and women who help AAA members when they are in need also put their lives on the line every day.”
In New York state, 33 people were killed while outside a disabled vehicle from 2015-19. The state’s “Move Over” law requires all drivers to proceed with caution, and, if possible, move over one lane when passing an emergency vehicle, tow truck, or road maintenance vehicle with flashing or rotating lights parked on the roadside.
A recent survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that:
√ Nearly a quarter of those surveyed (23%) are unaware of the “Move Over” law in the state where they live.
√ Among those who are aware of their state's “Move Over” laws, about 15% report not understanding the potential consequences for violating the “Move Over” law.
√ 42% thought this behavior was somewhat or not dangerous at all to roadside emergency workers.
It's not just tow providers and other emergency responders being killed on the side of the road. Since 2015, over 1,600 people have been struck and killed while outside of a disabled vehicle in the U.S. The reality is that drivers are increasingly distracted while driving. Previous AAA Foundation research has found that drivers are up to four times as likely to crash if they are talking on a cell phone while driving, and up to eight times as likely to be in a crash if texting.
Learn more about what drivers can do to protect roadside workers HERE.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.