Towing associations across the country including Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association and California Tow Truck Association are gearing up to draw attention to the alarming number of towers — an average of 60 every year — who suffer roadside deaths on Oct. 20, the second annual National Move Over Day.
While motorists are generally aware of the need to move to right for emergency vehicles such as police cars, ambulance and fire trucks, data indicates that far too many drivers do not take the same action for tow trucks — and the result can be deadly.
While exact figures vary, tower roadside fatalities are higher than any other type of responder, according to the Arizona Professional Towing and Recovery Association. Between 50 and 100 tow truck operators lose their lives each year in roadside accidents, according to the Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum.
Recent studies show that a tow operator is killed in the line of duty every six days, according to the association.
Each state has passed some form of "move over" law that directs drivers to change lanes in order to move away from emergency vehicles with visual signals such as flashing lights, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Drivers are required to slow down if there is no other lane available.
In October 2017, awareness events were held across the country as part of the first-ever National Move Over Day. Several events are anticipated for this Saturday.