When you’re on a road of any kind, you have to remain focused. Between pedestrians, loose debris, and many other distractions (mainly from other drivers!), you have your work cut out for you. However, sometimes it’s not a matter of just being aware of your surroundings and more of a lesson in proper protocol. You know you should slow down if there’s an accident, but what happens when you see a tow truck on the side of the road? Are there essential actions you should be taking?
Here are some critical driving tips when sharing the road with tow trucks.
Why Slow Down?
It’s best to slow down steadily, not just for tow trucks but all emergency vehicles parked on the side of the road. This isn’t just to check out the scene either: tow truck operators have a complicated job of rigging up a vehicle to their truck. This involves a lot of movement in and around both vehicles, so the car is balanced correctly on the truck bed. Due to this rigorous job, tow truck drivers are risking their lives as they are often partially standing in the road to ensure the car is safely secured.
Move Over a Lane (or Two)
If a tow truck is on the side of the road, they are likely in the middle of positioning the broken down vehicle for transport. If you see a tow truck coming up in the distance, move over as soon and as safely as possible to avoid any close calls.
In the winter, roads are slick (and indeed a high traffic time for tow truck drivers!), so moving over cautiously with an ample amount of time is your best bet for all involved.
Sometimes you may not be able to pull over to another lane in time, or many things are happening all at once. It’s important to stay focused while being aware of the tow truck and who/what is around it. This is especially important during stormy weather when visibility may be low. Staying calm and focused will give you time to react, just in case the situation calls for it.
Don’t Cut In Front
When a tow truck is driving on the road, they are usually driving slower than the flow of traffic and leaving a significant gap between themselves and the car ahead of them. This isn’t by accident. Driving a tow truck, especially when hauling a vehicle can be dangerous.
If you quickly cut in front of a tow truck, you are putting the lives of many people on the road in danger. If the tow truck has to stop suddenly, the equilibrium might be thrown off, and the car that is on the truck bed may topple over. This would cause the truck to lose control.
Being a tow truck operator is a rewarding job. We’re helping others when they are in need. However, it can also be dangerous. Follow these tips to help ensure the safety of both you and the people around you.