Not surprisingly, if you are driving at all hours of the night, along with handling heavy machinery, this can create potentially dangerous conditions. Rain or shine, towing and roadside services are available to people in need – and with that comes a certain amount of risk. What if the driver is stuck in the middle of a busy highway? What if they’re out in the middle of nowhere with low visibility? There are many conditions that tow truck drivers are trained for, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous.
Here are the top five risks towing and roadside service drivers face while on the job:
1. Distractions from the Job
When a tow truck is called (whether it’s just to change a tire or tow the entire vehicle), often it’s from a person that is in some amount of distress. They may have gotten in an accident that has rendered their car undrivable. During this time, there may be a lot of unanswered questions involved. Due to the detail-oriented nature of towing a car, bombarding the tow truck driver with questions that are often best suited for insurance companies can be a distraction from the safety precautions that need to be taken.
2. Risk of Destabilization
If you’re lugging a car on top of a tow truck bed, there’s much more to do than just strapping it in. The biggest issue is risk of destabilization. Tow trucks have to accomodate all kinds of vehicles, and this means making sure the weight is balanced. This involves customizing the equilibrium, but more importantly it’s driving extremely cautiously. Unlike many other cars, tow trucks cannot maneuver easily, so slow-and-steady wins the race. If they have to stop suddenly, this could cause the car to fall off the truck, or many other highly dangerous incidents.
3. Hazardous Areas
Consider hazardous situations for a normal car, and multiply it several times over for a tow truck. Due to the larger, heavier body, tow trucks cannot move with the same accessibility of a standard car size. If a car is stuck in a precarious area, the tow truck driver must make several split second decisions to determine the safest way to help. If you’re stuck in a wooded area for instance, there is low visibility, uneven roads, and wild animals. If you’re car was in an accident in the middle of the freeway, the tow truck (and your car) also risk getting hit by passing vehicles.
4. Other Drivers
One of, if not the riskiest dangers of operating a tow truck is other drivers. More often than not, people misjudge the space needed for a tow truck operator to work appropriately, and drive too close or too fast. Ideally, drivers should move over a lane and slow down, but sadly that’s not always the case. This can be incredibly dangerous for all parties – as it is another distraction from the importance of making sure the car is properly secured and everyone gets to the next destination safely.
5. Poor Weather Conditions
One of the busiest “seasons” of towing is during a rain or snowstorm. Though most tow truck drivers are well-versed in driving perilous weather conditions – it’s less about the weather, and more about the debris that other drivers leave behind. Driving a large truck with poor visibility is one thing, but pair that with car parts on the road from other motorists losing control is another.
Helping drivers with their cars is an important part of road safety. It helps with traffic congestion from stalled vehicles, as well as ensures that drivers are able to get home to their loved ones. Towing and roadside assistance is not an easy job. Due to the haphazard nature of the work, it needs to be done mindfully and precisely, otherwise there is risk for further damage or injury.
Need reliable roadside assistance? The drivers at NK Towing are always professional, punctual, and follow a strict code of conduct to keep you and your vehicle safe during a roadside dilemma. We look forward to serving you soon.