• January 6th, 2022

Incident response and emergency services personnel, including police, firefighters, emergency medical services, and towing operators, are at risk of being struck by passing motorists while they are working at the roadside. Stakeholders such as AAA and others strive to reduce these professionals’ risk of being injured or killed on the job through advocacy, education, and implementation of other safety measures. However, at present, such efforts are greatly limited by a lack of comprehensive, high-quality data on the incidence, as well as the details, of crashes involving this population and the associated injuries and deaths. Such data are fundamental to the design, tracking, and appraisal of national, state, or regional countermeasures to enhance the safety of these workers.

This Research Brief describes highlights from a roundtable discussion hosted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that sought to identify ways to improve data about the safety of incident response and emergency services personnel. A panel of experts was convened to discuss issues and efforts surrounding data on crashes involving roadside responders. The overarching aim was to help improve the overall accounting of roadside service providers killed and injured each year while assisting other motorists in order to learn more about the circumstances of these tragic incidents. Toward these ends, the panel was asked to reflect on two main questions:

  1. What are the limitations or barriers in current crash data involving roadside responders?
  2. What solutions, techniques, or approaches can be used to improve and augment existing data?

Read the full study here.