Work Injury Risks for Roadside Assistance Providers

Roadside assistance providers put themselves at risk every day to help others. Tow truck drivers, mobile mechanics, safety service patrols, emergency roadside technicians, and others are often working by the side of the road due to the nature of their jobs.

Roadside Assistance Provider Crash Facts

A recent study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 123 roadside assistance providers were killed by passing vehicles from 2015-2021. Many of those fatalities could have been avoided if drivers had simply slowed down and moved over.

89% of the crashes happened at locations that had a speed limit of 55 mph or higher, and a whopping 84% happened in good weather without precipitation or slippery conditions.

63% of the accidents happened after dark, nearly two-thirds of those in locations without street lighting.

In 63% of the crashes, the striking vehicle was already traveling on the shoulder or beyond shoulder before impacting the individual. This suggests that the driver may have been impaired, fatigued, or distracted. More than a third of the striking drivers who were tested for alcohol tested positive, but nearly half of the drivers weren’t tested.

Preventing Roadside Accidents

Remember, it’s the law to give space to anyone working on the side of the road. This includes but isn’t limited to roadside assistance, police, fire, EMS, and other workers. Slow down and move over if you see someone working near the road.

Using an electronic vehicle-mounted variable message sign is an effective way to get drivers to slow down and/or change lanes. Other countermeasures like cones, flares, and emergency flashing light patterns can also increase lane shifts.

Training for roadside workers should emphasize the importance of working away from traffic as much as possible and include strategies for avoiding harm’s way. Minimizing time spent on the traffic-facing side of the scene can help prevent accidents and injuries.

If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.