AAA: Florida roadways more dangerous for roadside assistance

More than 100 roadside assistance workers were killed nationwide in the last six years. Florida drivers are some of the worst culprits, AAA data shows.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — According to national statistics, there were 34 roadside workers killed in the line of duty over a six-year stretch nationwide. However, those numbers don’t even scratch the surface according to new data from AAA.

AAAA plans on releasing this data on Thursday at their headquarters in Tampa.

According to AAA, the numbers were almost four times the reported national amount and Florida drivers are some of the biggest culprits nationwide.

A recent study by AAA reveals that 123 roadside workers were killed while doing their jobs over six years.

These are people like tow truck drivers and road rangers, the people who are there to help you if you break down.

In Florida, 10 roadside workers were killed during those six years — ranking third behind California and Texas for the most fatalities.

Mark Jenkins with AAA explains most of these accidents had nothing to do with bad weather or poor visibility, but rather speed and distracted driving.

Jenkins says more than two-thirds of those crashes took place on interstate highways and almost 90 percent of the time, the speed limit on the road exceeded 55 miles per hour.

Jenkins says what’s fueling his frustration even more is that in 65 percent of those crashes the driver was distracted.

Which is why he’s pleading with people to respect the revised and expanded move-over law.

“That tells us that the driver was distracted, impaired, fatigued, all those factors could be at play here, but at the end of the day, what that tells you is that if this driver slowed down, they moved over, and gave extra space to the person on the roadside, then this is a death that could have been avoided,” Jenkins said.

Under the new move-over law, drivers are required to move over one lane for any disabled vehicle and if you can’t safely change lanes, then drivers must reduce their speed by 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit.


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