17:00 PM

AAA Urges Motorists to Slow Down, Move Over to Protect Tow Operators, First Responders

The towing industry is 15 times deadlier than all other private industries combined, according to the CDC

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 24, 2020) AAA – The Auto Club Group is urging motorists to Slow Down and Move Over to protect the lives of tow operators and first responders.

Yesterday afternoon, AAA was joined by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Road Builders Association, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Tennessee Trucking Foundation and Association for a joint press conference in Nashville to announce the start of an ongoing Slow Down, Move Over campaign - view the conference footage here.

The towing industry is 15 times deadlier than all other private industries combined. According to the CDC, one service provider, on average, is killed in the line of duty every other week.

"Our roadside service providers will respond to over 30 million calls for help this year alone; delivering safety, security and peace of mind to our members. Yet their lives are on the line every time they answer the call," said Stephanie Milani, TN Public Affairs Director, AAA - The Auto Club Group. "We're asking for the public's support to protect all of the first responders who come to the rescue of motorists. Slow down, move over as the lives of our highway heroes are on your shoulders."

Because of these startling statistics, AAA is recommitting its efforts to increase awareness of and support for Slow Down Move Over laws. These laws (which are in place in all 50 states) are aimed at protecting emergency responders working along the roadside, requiring motorists to slow down and move over or change lanes, if possible, to give safe clearance.

While all fifty states have slow down, move over laws for emergency responders, which includes tow trucks, fewer than 30 percent of Americans know about these laws, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In Tennessee, state law requires drivers approaching a stationary authorized emergency, utility vehicle, municipal vehicle, road maintenance vehicle, or a tow truck or recovery vehicle, displaying flashing lights and traveling in the same direction, to reduce speed and, if safe to do so, vacate the lane closest to the vehicles.

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 to protect those responding to roadside emergencies.

For information on laws in other states, visit drivinglaws.aaa.com.

About AAA - The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, banking, financial services, and travel offerings to over 13.5 million members across 13 U.S. states, the province of Quebec and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, South Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 60 million members in the United States and Canada whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.