Move Over for Me, AAA launches campaign to protect drivers on Michigan roads

“We have employees that are out on the side of the road so they’re very vulnerable to cars passing by.”
Published: Oct. 27, 2022 at 6:03 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Under current state law, drivers only need to slow down and get out of the way for emergency responders. AAA Auto Group Club and other advocates are working to change that with the launch of their Move Over for Me Campaign.

Whether you’re changing a tire or waiting for help, it can be dangerous to be on the side of the road. Nearly 350 people are hit and killed while dealing with a disabled vehicle each year.

Related: Michigan State Police release video of collision between parked MDOT vehicle, SUV fleeing trooper

“What you want to do is, you want to move over one lane. If you cannot move over, you want to slow down so that you can safely pass them,” said Adrienne Woodland of AAA Auto Club Group.

State law requires drivers to move over to an open lane or slow down to 10 miles under the posted speed limit.

More information on Michigan’s Move Over Law can be found here.

Jeff Finely of Northside Service Inc. knows Michigan’s Move Over laws very well. He and his crew experience the dangers of being on the side of the road every day.

“We have employees that are out on the side of the road so they’re very vulnerable to cars passing by,” said Finley. In some cases, drivers are unable to move over and slowing down is the only option.

VIDEO: Michigan State Police cruiser struck by semi truck on I-94

“We all want to go home to our families whether you’re working on the side of the road as part of a construction crew, you’re a police officer, a firefighter responding to an accident, or one of our tow truck drivers,” said Josh Clayton, owner of H and H Mobil.

According to AAA, one tow truck driver is killed every other week while working on the roadside.

“We had one driver get brushed on the shoulder on the side of the highway. Thank God he made it back home but, you know, there’s just so many variables when you’re out there on the road that if you could just give them a break and give them a half of lane – at least a half a lane, that’s huge,” said Finley.

Car crash victims are advocating “move over” laws too, saying roadside accidents are getting worse every year but can be prevented.

“After our accident, we were already off the roadways so that wasn’t an issue in our accident but I know it is for many people,” said Diane Mills-Gutierrez.

97% of drivers are worried about cars passing at high speeds when they’re stopped on the side of the road. Washington, D.C. and all 50 states have “move over” laws.

AAA’s Tips to Protect Roadside Workers and Stranded Motorists:

For DriversFor Stranded Motorists
Remain alert. Avoid distractions and focus on driving.Pull as far over on the shoulder as safely possible to create more distance between your vehicle and passing traffic.
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.Turn your hazard lights on so other drivers are aware you are there. If you are able to safely make it to the next exit or stopping point, do so.
Be a good passenger. Help identify roadway issues and remind the driver to slow down and move over.Call for assistance via phone, website or the AAA Mobile app.
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.Remain with your vehicle as long as it’s safe to do so.
If getting out of your vehicle, watch the oncoming traffic for a good time to exit, and remain alert and close to your vehicle. Avoid turning your back to traffic whenever possible.

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