Menu More MORE
AAA
Roadside... Roadside Assistance

New Technology Provides Southern California Drivers With In-Vehicle Alerts As They Approach Stranded Motorists, Working Tow Operators

AAA Foundation For Traffic Safety Study Finds Emergency Responders Are Hit And Killed Nearly Four Times More Than Original Estimates

Automotive
Slow Down Move Over Law
Credit: Auto Club of Southern California

The Automobile Club of Southern California and HAAS Alert, an industry leader in mobility safety solutions, are rolling out new technology that can automatically send alerts to drivers in Southern California to slow down and move over when they are approaching a stranded motorist on the side of the road. This new digital alert feature adds a layer of protection for AAA members and tow operators. A recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals the number of roadside assistance providers struck and killed while working on the side of the road is four times higher than what is reported.

VIDEO FOR NEWS MEDIA
(click link to view and download)

Emergency Roadside Worker Crashes/Close Calls BROLL

HAAS Alert Safety Cloud BROLL

 

Now in select areas, including Southern California, when a AAA member requests roadside assistance and they are in an unsafe location, such as the side of the highway or blocking traffic, their location will automatically be displayed to other drivers in Waze, Apple Maps, and newer Stellantis vehicles* through HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud® platform. Once the AAA technician arrives on scene, the alert will automatically update to notify approaching drivers of the tow vehicle, giving them critical additional time to safely slow down or move over.

“Too often, the lives of our members stranded at roadside and our heroic tow technicians who come to their rescue are put in unnecessary danger by inattentive and risky drivers,” said Nannalee Haywood, AAA Vice President of Automotive Services. “By automatically alerting nearby drivers to the location of an emergency roadside assistance call in real time, we can reduce the likelihood that drivers are caught off-guard when approaching a tow truck on the side of the road.”

Safety Cloud is currently active in more than 3,300 fleets and agencies nationwide and alerted an estimated 72.8 million drivers in 2023. Studies have found driver advanced warning systems, like digital alerting, reduce the likelihood of a collision by up to 90% and reduce hard braking near roadway incidents by 80%.

“We are thrilled to launch this lifesaving integration with AAA, which marks the first time that digital alerts will be used in the field to protect disabled motorists as well as the technicians that service them,” said Cory Hohs, CEO of HAAS Alert. “It’s an honor to work in partnership with an organization that has led the nation in roadway safety for over a century, and we know that this joint effort will save lives.”

Safety Cloud alerts automatically appear in Waze, Apple Maps, and newer Stellantis vehicles including 2018-and-newer Jeep®, Dodge, RAM, and Chrysler vehicles. Drivers using these vehicles and platforms do not have to change any settings to receive roadway safety alerts automatically.

Examining Characteristics of Fatal Roadside Worker Crashes

SDMO Save a Life

Struck and killed – nearly four times more than reported. It’s the chilling reality for roadside assistance providers, including tow truck drivers, mobile mechanics, emergency roadside technicians, and safety service patrols who put themselves at risk every day to help others. A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals a disturbing picture of the dangers faced by those working on the side of the road, and the numbers may be getting worse.

AAA Foundation researchers combed through diverse information sources and uncovered 123 roadside assistance providers killed by passing vehicles between 2015 and 2021. This grim figure dwarfs the approximate 34 noted in national crash data. The discrepancy is due to a persistent failure of state police crash report forms to capture that crash victims were roadside assistance providers and were often recorded as “pedestrians.” While yearly total traffic fatalities increased significantly over the study period, the data suggest that roadside assistance provider fatalities increased even more.

Key findings involving emergency responder fatalities

  • 89% occurred at locations with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher, almost all of which were on Interstates or other limited-access highways.
  • 84% occurred in crashes with no indication of precipitation nor slippery road conditions.
  • 63% occurred during darkness, of which nearly two-thirds were at locations without lighting.
  • 63% occurred in crashes in which the striking vehicle left the road before striking the roadside assistance provider, the provider’s vehicle, or the disabled vehicle.
  • AAA urges action on several fronts:

  • Slow down, Move Over: Reinforce these life-saving laws, reminding drivers to give space to ANYONE (including but not limited to roadside assistance, police, fire, EMS) working on the side of the road. Every ounce of awareness could be the difference between life and death.
  • Shield the Vulnerable: Utilize countermeasures to prevent vehicles from striking workers. The Foundation previously examined vehicle-mounted electronic variable message signs and found them effective at alerting drivers to slow down and move over.
  • Train for survival: Teach roadside workers to prioritize work away from traffic and equip them with strategies to avoid harm's way. Training for roadside assistance providers should emphasize the importance of not working or standing on the traffic-facing side of the incident whenever possible and minimize time spent on the traffic-facing side of the scene.

About HAAS Alert

HAAS Alert's mission is to build lifesaving mobility solutions to make vehicles and roads safer and smarter. Our vision is a connected, collision-free world where everyone gets home safely. HAAS Alert makes roads and communities safer by delivering digital alerts from emergency response, municipal and private fleets, work zones, and connected infrastructure to nearby drivers through its vehicle communication platform. For more information, visit www.haasalert.com.

About AAA

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 64 million members across North America, including 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit AAA.com or download the AAA Mobile app.

Media Contacts

Marie Montgomery
(714) 420-0477 (cell)
Montgomery.Marie@aaa-calif.com

Anlleyn Venegas
Public Affairs Specialist. English/Spanish Language Media Spokesperson
(619) 565-4556
Venegas.Anlleyn@ace.aaa.com

CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.