AAA Urges Roadside Safety After Weekend Crash
AAA reminds motorists to slow down and move over for roadside repair vehicles following a weekend accident involving one of the auto club’s technicians. Auto club officials say a distracted driver caused extensive damage to the tow truck and member’s vehicle during a roadside repair Saturday on I-70 near West Jefferson.
“Thankfully, everybody walked away from the incident over the weekend with just minor injuries, and the AAA member wasn’t even hurt,” AAA Ohio spokesperson Kimberly Schwind said. “But it serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of distracted driving, and why it is so important to slow down and move over for all emergency workers.”
Ohio law requires drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle, including tow trucks, to slow down and vacate the lane next to the stopped vehicle, if possible. With a record number of travelers expected to drive to their destinations during the year-end holiday travel period, Schwind urges all motorists to remain alert.
“It’s really important that everybody is aware of this law, and that they are paying attention on the road to give yourself a chance to pull over for those roadside workers,” Schwind explained. “These roadside workers are the tow trucks, the ODOT crews, law enforcement – any emergency worker on the side of the road trying to protect people, you really need to give them space to work. You can’t do that if you’re not paying attention. It’s really important to ditch those distractions, pay attention, and make sure that you’re slowing down and moving over for all emergency roadside workers.”
AAA says an average of 23 tow truck operators are killed at the roadside every year.