The Seriousness of Road Safety

AAA is always focused on helping all roadway users avoid crashes with other vehicles and roadside workers.

Road workers moving equipment and road signs on highway Yellow Dog Productions/Getty Images

AAA is synonymous with roadside assistance, rescuing millions of stranded motorists each year. But for the service technicians and tow truck operators who respond to the call, the job comes with potential safety risks.

That’s because nearly two dozen roadside workers and first responders are killed in traffic every year while tending to vehicles, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the inspiration for so-called Move Over laws, which require drivers to change lanes and slow down when driving in the proximity of an emergency vehicle.

But driver awareness and compliance with such laws—despite the laws being passed in all 50 states—has plenty of room for improvement.

Technology such as automatic braking can help drivers avoid crashes. But even low-tech methods of getting drivers’ attention—such as variable-message signs (electric signs that are more commonly known as VMS), cones, flares, and flashing-light patterns—are effective. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the odds of a vehicle moving over to provide more of a buffer for an incident scene were 95% higher when a VMS was used. But there’s no substitute for vigilance. Here are a few tips to help motorists drive safely:

  • Keep an eye out for emergency vehicles—including tow trucks—that have their lights on as well as cars that have their flashers on.
  • Move over one lane when you see them, and if you can’t move over, slow down to safely pass them.
  • Be a good passenger: Help identify roadway issues and remind the driver to slow down and move over.
  • Watch for people on the roadside. People may be in or near a disabled vehicle. Just because you don’t immediately see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.
Senior woman driving with senior man in passenger seat istock

Helping senior drivers avoid crashes

Senior drivers are among the safest and often reduce their risk of injury by wearing safety belts, observing speed limits and avoiding impaired driving. However, they are more likely to be injured or killed in a crash due to age-related fragility.

AAA is dedicated to keeping seniors driving for as long as safely possible and to promoting viable transportation options for those who can no longer drive independently. AAA offers a wide variety of classes geared toward improving senior driver safety and mobility, including AAA RoadWise Driver, Evaluate Your Driving Ability, Evolving Vehicle Technology, and Senior Licensing Laws. Some states, such as Minnesota, Illinois and Florida may offer insurance discounts with some courses. Check with your insurance provider to confirm your eligibility. There are also resources for teen drivers.

Tow to Go program promotes road safety

Another way to prevent roadway incidents is by not driving at all—especially if you’re impaired. Now celebrating its 25th year of service, AAA’s Tow to Go program provides a free, confidential ride to the rider’s home or another safe place within 10 miles. Over the past two decades, Tow to Go has kept more than 25,000 impaired drivers off the road.

Pull quote from article that states: AAA’s Tow to Go program provides a free, confidential ride to the rider’s home or another safe place within 10 miles.
Woman wearing eyeglasses standing behind the open driver’s side door of a car LensCrafters

“See the World Clearly, Drive Safely” with LensCrafters

The importance of good eyesight when driving can’t be overstated. A 2019 survey conducted by international optics company Essilor found that 17% of American drivers say visual fatigue when driving is annoying. And 67% of American drivers consider their vision imperfect or say that it prevents them from driving in full safety at night (for daytime driving, the number drops to 45%).

LensCrafters’ See the World Clearly, Drive Safely program was designed to help everyone find a personalized vision solution for driving. Learn about lenses, why eye exams are important, and more. And if you do need contacts or frames, AAA Members can enjoy discounts of 30% off eye exams and 50% off a complete pair of glasses from Lenscrafters.

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