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123 roadside workers killed between 2015 and 2021, AAA study finds

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123 roadside workers killed between 2015 and 2021, AAA study finds


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A new study has found an increase in the number of roadside assistance providers (RAPs) killed in recent years. RAPs include tow truck drivers, mobile mechanics, emergency roadside technicians, and safety service patrols. 


The study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 123 RAPs were killed between 2015 and 2021. Researchers looked through several information sources to determine this number, which dwarfs the 34 noted in national crash data. AAA said the discrepancy is due to state police crash reports citing the crash victims as “pedestrians” instead of roadside assistance providers.


“Interstates are particularly hazardous, as more than half of roadside provider deaths occurred there,” said Megan Cooper, AAA spokeswoman. “The study attributes that to drivers traveling at high speeds while not expecting to encounter pedestrians on freeways. This reinforces the importance that drivers stay focused on driving and be prepared to slow down and move over when approaching workers on the roadside.”

AAA added that while yearly total traffic fatalities increased significantly over the study period, roadside assistance provider fatalities increased even more.


Key findings from the study determined that 89% of the crashes occurred at locations with speed limits of 55 mph or higher. In addition, 84% of crashes occurred in good weather without precipitation/slippery road conditions, and 63% occurred during darkness.


RESOURCE LINK includes report:




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