Slow Down, Move Over: It's the law.

Every day, tow truck operators and other roadside heroes brave dangerous highway conditions to rescue AAA Members around the country. Sadly, some of them never return home to their families, with about 23 roadside workers (one every two weeks) losing their life each year and hundreds more sustaining injuries while assisting motorists.

Since 2007, AAA has been instrumental in passing Move Over laws in all states, including advocating for this legislation to cover tow truck drivers and first responders. Additionally, AAA clubs have participated in educational and advocacy initiatives, creating public service announcements and reaching out to state legislative officials.

But there is more work to be done. AAA is committed to raising awareness about the importance of Move Over laws and the dangers associated with working at the roadside.

Memorandum

Klint Reid 

We honor the memory of Atlanta Fleet Driver Klint Reid who lost his life in a tragic vehicle crash while on duty. Klint was on his way to a service call on April 21, 2008, when someone hit his vehicle head-on.

Sadly, Klint’s life was taken.

 

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Protect the people who help you.

Slowing down and moving over when approaching roadside workers and emergency vehicles – including tow trucks – isn’t just the right thing to do … it’s the law. In all 50 states, motorists are generally required to carefully switch over to the next lane and/or decrease their speed when approaching a roadside incident where tow operators, police, firefighters or emergency medical service crews are working with their flashing emergency lights on.

Some states require that drivers slow down by a specified amount, such as 20 mph less than the posted speed limit, while others mandate slowing to a “safe or reasonable” speed under the circumstances. Nonetheless, fewer than 30 percent of Americans are aware that Move Over laws exist. As a result, many drivers routinely fail to move over or slow down, creating potentially deadly situations.1

 

What you can do.

Did you know that the towing industry is 15 times deadlier than all other private industries combined? To protect all roadside workers and improve highway safety, AAA offers these precautionary tips:

 

  • Always remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on the task of driving.
  • Scan the road ahead and drive with caution. Whenever you’re on the road, it’s important that you 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 when necessary and adjust your speed accordingly.

While you’re behind the wheel, you should also watch for potential situations where emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility service vehicles or disabled vehicles are stopped on the side of the road.

  • Recognize and respond. When approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing on the side of a two-lane roadway, drivers should slow down to a speed that is safe and approach with caution, unless otherwise directed by an emergency worker on the scene.

On multi-lane roadways, slow down when you see the flashing lights of an emergency vehicle at the roadside and, if possible, move over into an adjacent lane. If you are unable to switch lanes, slow to a speed that is safe and reasonable, taking into consideration that you are approaching a workspace where pedestrians are present.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements for speed reduction can vary from state-to-state, so be sure to check the exact guidelines for Move Over laws in your area.

  • Be courteous of other motorists. Allow other vehicles to merge into your lane when necessary.

Keep in mind that the specific requirements for speed reduction can vary from state-to-state, so be sure to check the exact guidelines for Move Over laws in your area.

1 Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)