Tow truck drivers perform essential work, especially in an area like Southern California where there are so many vehicles on the road. However, we rarely think about the risks these drivers face. As it turns out, being a tow truck driver is dangerous work. Here are the top five hazards tow truck drivers face while on the job.
1. Other Motorists
Tow truck drivers have to get out of their vehicle and work in the middle or on the side of the road, all while other cars are driving by at speeds of 65 mph or more. In many cases, these vehicles come very close to the driver, the tow truck, and the vehicle they are towing. It’s easy for motorists to veer to close and strike the driver or the vehicles, causing a deadly accident. This is even riskier at night and in poorly lit areas. While tow truck drivers should take precautions, such as wearing brightly colored clothing and using flares, the risks posed by other drivers are an ever-present threat.
Much like any driver, tow truck drivers can become distracted while driving. This distraction could be something external, such as the radio or calls for work coming in. It could also be internal, such as drifting thoughts or even fatigue. Trained, professional drivers are less susceptible to this than others, but they are only human. It’s vital that drivers are self-aware and police themselves when it comes to distractions. If necessary, they should get off the road and rest, calling in backup if needed. Tow truck companies themselves must take care not to overwork their drivers.
3. Dangerous Surroundings
When vehicles break down, it is often sudden, giving the driver no time to get to a safe location. Places that are risky for smaller vehicles are often even more dangerous for larger ones, such as tow trucks. From narrow lanes to difficult terrain, getting to a stranded vehicle poses many risks to towers. Operators must take care not to enter into a situation where the risk is too great to themselves or others. When needed, they bring in police assistance to shut down traffic so they can do their job safely.
4. General Road Navigation
If the average driver finds potholes, narrow lanes, and twisting roads to be hard to navigate, then the difficulty is magnified by ten for tow truck drivers. In addition to these general hazards, tow truck drivers need to know how to get to where they need to be. Put together, this can make the act of driving more dangerous for a tow truck driver than it is for the average motorist. Drivers are trained in how to deal with difficult roads as well as how to navigate unfamiliar areas.
5. Bad Weather
While we don’t get the worst Mother Nature has to offer, high winds and rainstorms are still dangerous for tow truck drivers. Both can make it harder for drivers to stay in their lane, and the way they impact other drivers also increases risk. Additionally, heavy rain can hamper vision, making navigation more difficult. In other areas of the country, ice and snow are especially perilous.
Keeping Tow Truck Drivers Safe
While safety for tow truck drivers is mostly handled through training, all motorists can do their part in keeping these drivers safe while they are out doing their job. Some precautions everyone should take include:
- Keeping an eye out for tow trucks on the road and on the sides of the road.
- If your car is acting strange, getting to the safest location possible before it quits running.
- When driving, changing lanes to give tow trucks as much space as possible, much like you would a police car.
- Reducing your speed when driving past a tow truck.
- Not talking to or otherwise distracting a tow truck driver while they are working.
- Keeping a greater distance between yourself and a tow truck when driving behind them on the road.
For Your Towing Needs, Contact NK Towing
If you have a vehicle that is stalled or needs towing for any reason, contact NK Towing at 760-405-8897. We offer 24-hour service, 365 days a year. No matter where you are in lower Southern California, we are sure to have a tow truck operator nearby ready to help you. For fast, friendly, and affordable service, work with NK Towing.