When polled, 93 percent of the Club’s roadside workers reported driver distraction as their greatest concern, while 86 percent said vehicles which passed too closely or at high speed made them feel unsafe.
RACQ Head of Technical and Safety Policy Steve Spalding said the findings, which were released to mark National Road Safety Week, revealed drivers put roadside workers at risk every day.
“Both our assistance patrols and roadside recovery workers told us which bad habits they see on the job and the frightening things other drivers do to endanger roadside workers’ lives,” Mr Spalding said.
“Drivers on their mobile phones ranked as their great safety concern, which goes to show despite distraction being one of the Fatal Five, many are still willing to risk the lives of themselves and others.
“When behind the wheel, the situation on the road can change in a split second, and if a driver hasn’t seen a roadside worker because they’ve had their head in their phone, the results can be catastrophic.”
Mr Spalding reiterated how important it was for motorists to move over and slow down whenever they approached roadside workers after the survey results showed these deadly behaviours also ranked highly.
“Our key focus has been asking drivers to move over and slow down when they see road workers, emergency crews or one of our roadside teams, because creating space between a vehicle and a vulnerable person on the road is the first step,” he said.
“RACQ roadside and clearance officers experience near-misses everyday while they’re providing protection and assistance to those vulnerable members stranded on the road.
“Given it is National Road Safety Week we’re asking all road users to drive so others survive – and that means taking greater care around roadside workers.”