The Dangers Of Operating A Tow Truck

20 June 2015
 Categories: , Blog


Tow truck driving may not seem to be a dangerous choice of occupation to many, but those who operate these vehicles for a living consistently face dangerous situations as they perform their duties. The job has many benefits as well, but if you are thinking of becoming a tow truck driver, you need to realize the difficulties you will encounter.

Emergency Responders

Although many citizens do not realize it, tow truck drivers are considered emergency responders as are the police or EMTs. Sometimes they are the first to reach an accident scene. Although the drivers are not in the business of directly saving lives, their actions clear the roadways and help ensure public safety. To accomplish this feat, they often put themselves in danger. The accident injury and fatality rates for emergency responders are more than double the number for those in other industries. 

Towing Dangers

Truck towing drivers often have to position themselves very close to oncoming traffic due to the lack of a breakdown lane or because the disabled vehicle is "trapped" in a center lane. Also, some accidents or breakdowns occur on two-lane roads, so drivers have no ability to avoid traffic. In these cases, the best course for the drivers is to operate from the passenger side of their vehicles, or if that is not possible, to wait for breaks in traffic to do their jobs. Even the most careful of professionals will have difficulty conducting their business in safety if passing motorists do not drive carefully.

Move Over Laws

In 2006, the NHTSA met with law enforcement officials and other first responders to create a model law aimed to improve first responder safety. The law is a simple one and only requires that drivers move over a lane whenever possible and slow down when they see emergency vehicles stopped on the roadways. Since 2006, all 50 states have adopted some form of the Move Over Law. At present, states can impose a hefty fine on those who do not follow the law. Surprisingly, 71% of drivers have not heard of this legislation.

If you wish to become a tow truck driver, realize that you are entering an honorable profession, one that has first responder status. As a result, you will be doing meaningful, necessary work that helps keep people safe on the roadways. Also, realize that you will be facing dangerous situations each day as you perform your duties.