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In five years, 255 roadway workers were struck and killed by vehicles, according to an annual report by Emergency Responder Safety Institute (ERSI). The report shows an uptick in struck-by-fatality deaths of roadway crews. Of the deaths, 96 were tow operators, 13 road service technicians, and nine DOT/SSP workers.

As a result, ERSI assembled a report that outlines several mitigation strategies agencies can utilize to protect its crews.

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“At Command Light, we pride ourselves on creating lighting that truly can help save the lives of victims and responders alike,” says Roger Weinmeister, president, Command Light. “The ResponderSafety Team said it best after releasing its first ERSI report, we simply cannot wait another day to make this a top priority.”

ERSI documented an increasing number of organizations adopting traffic advisors and digital message boards to improve visibility and give clear directions to motorists. The report noted multi-level or high-rise light systems are key in elevating lighting and advisors above obstructing views. Some advisors utilized directional pulsing light bars; the study found large arrow boards were most effective at diverting motorists away from the scene. 

The report also addressed bright white lights, which often cause glare and visibility problems when not properly elevated. The report suggests elevating and positioning white light to illuminate only work areas. Light towers are one of the most effective ways to control lighting.

ERSI began tracking struck-by-vehicle deaths in 2019. ERSI also produces and the ResponderSafety Learning Network, which offer online training and traffic safety certification programs.