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Most Ohio roadside workers say they feel threatened on the job

tow truck
Matt Chesin

AAA says on average, 24 roadside workers are killed on the job every year in the United States. Spokesperson Cheryl Parker says there's a simple solution.

"It seems obvious: you see the flashing lights or you see situation on the side of the road. You move over to the next lane if you can safely do so. It should be in everybody's mindset, and it's not."

Saturday is National "Slow Down Move Over Day," as first responders, tow truck drivers, and construction workers try to remind people their lives are on the line.

AAA polled Ohio roadside workers and found 90% reported having a near-miss because a driver didn't move over. Thirty percent of those polled say it happens "routinely."

Parker says on average, 24 people are killed on the side of the nation's roads every year. That includes tow truck drivers, first responders and construction workers. "We just lost one of our drivers in July of this year. So it really hits close to home for AAA and all of our partners because every day they're out there helping people, and motorists are not giving them the space they need to do the job safely."

Glenn Ewing was killed July 4th in West Price Hill while loading a vehicle onto his flatbed.

Parker says such incidents are happening more and more as distractions increase for drivers. "We know that that distraction is a factor. We know that speed is a factor," she says. "If you're going too fast, you may not see that there is a police officer, or a firefighter or a AAA tow truck driver on the side of the road."

All 50 U.S. states have a law requiring motorists to either move over or slow down for roadside workers.