New tech now alerts Hawaiʻi drivers of stranded motorists, tow operators on roads

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A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety this year found that 123 roadside assistance providers were killed by passing vehicles between 2015 and 2021. The figure previously recorded by national crash data was 34. While not all crash data was scrubbed, the report stated that roadside assistance provider fatalities appeared to experience an increasing trend each year.

In an effort to protect roadside assistant providers and Hawaiʻi drivers, the AAA Hawaiʻi and HAAS Alert, a mobility safety solutions company, have rolled out new technology that sends alerts to drivers in Hawaiʻi to slow down and move over when they are approaching a stranded motorist on the side of the road.

Now when a AAA Hawaiʻi member requests roadside assistance from an unsafe location, such as the side of the highway or blocking traffic, their location will automatically be displayed to other drivers in Waze, Apple Maps, and newer Stellantis vehicles through HAAS Alert’s Safety Cloud platform. Once the AAA technician arrives on scene, the alert will automatically update to notify approaching drivers of the tow vehicle, giving them critical additional time to safely slow down or move over.

Safety Cloud is currently active in more than 3,300 fleets and agencies nationwide and alerted an estimated 72.8 million drivers in 2023. Studies have found driver advanced warning systems, like digital alerting, reduce the likelihood of a collision by up to 90% and reduce hard braking near roadway incidents by 80%, per the AAA Foundation.


Safety Cloud alerts automatically appear in Waze, Apple Maps and newer Stellantis vehicles including 2018-and-newer Jeep, Dodge, RAM and Chrysler vehicles. Drivers using these vehicles and platforms do not have to change any settings to receive roadway safety alerts automatically.

While the Safety Cloud is an automatic change, the AAA urges the individuals to actively improve traffic safety on several fronts:

  • Slow down, move over: Reinforce these life-saving laws, reminding drivers to give space to anyone (including but not limited to roadside assistance, police, fire, EMS) working on the side of the road. Every ounce of awareness could be the difference between life and death.
  • Shield the vulnerable: Utilize countermeasures to prevent vehicles from striking workers. The Foundation previously examined vehicle-mounted electronic variable message signs and found them effective at alerting drivers to slow down and move over.
  • Train for survival: Teach roadside workers to prioritize work away from traffic and equip them with strategies to avoid harm’s way. Training for roadside assistance providers should emphasize the importance of not working or standing on the traffic-facing side of the incident whenever possible and minimize time spent on the traffic-facing side of the scene.


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