Tow truck drivers have a very important job as they play a vital role at an accident scene or when a vehicle breaks down. We rely heavily on tow truck drivers to not only move vehicles out of the way so that they don’t obstruct traffic, but to also tow vehicles that are stuck or stalled on the side of the road. Aside from recognizing how important a tow truck driver’s job is, we must also remember that it is a dangerous job as well. While many drivers will often make the effort to move a lane or two over when they see a police cruiser or ambulance, they won’t always do the same for tow truck drivers. But the truth is, tow truck drivers are considered first responders too and we should begin treating them with the respect and consideration they deserve.
Aside from motorists taking the initiative to keep tow truck drives safe, we also encourage the truck drivers themselves to implement these safety tips that can help increase their level of safety when they are dispatched to tow a disabled vehicle.
- According to Chron, “the Federal Highway Administration requires that all roadway and emergency workers on or near a federal highway wear a green, orange, or yellow fluorescent safety vest that meets American National Standards Institute standards.” The reason is it so important that these drivers wear these vests is because they help them to become more visible to others around. Tow truck drivers are also encouraged to wear fluorescent-colored helmets as well.
- Tow truck drivers should also “monitor any activity around [his/her] tow truck [when approaching] a disabled vehicle.” Emergency lights should be on after arriving at the area where the disabled vehicle is and they should always check for oncoming traffic before getting out of the vehicle as well as when approaching the vehicle they are there to tow.
- Tow trucks can haul different weights of cargo, however, the tow truck size determines how heavy a load it can haul. For instance, Chron highlighted that a light-duty truck can tow 10,000 pounds or less, medium-duty trucks can haul 26,000 or less, and heavy-duty trucks can tow vehicles that weigh in excess of 26,000 pounds. Never should a tow truck attempt to haul a vehicle is isn’t capable of towing. The size of the truck also determines what “types of winches and towing cables need” to be used and these should be checked regularly to ensure that they are in good working condition.
- Tow truck drivers should load the disabled vehicle they are picking up in a safe area that is out of the way of traffic.
While a majority of tow truck drivers follow all the safety protocols they are required to abide by, it isn’t them that contributes to the numerous accidents that occur. Unfortunately, it is the other drivers passing by who aren’t paying attention and wind up rear-ending these tow trucks that are pulled off to the side of the road. Therefore, in order to help prevent tow truck accidents in Rhode Island and in all other states, both tow truck drivers and the other motorists sharing the roadway with them need to be aware of their surroundings at all times and drive cautiously when approaching a tow truck that is attempting to load a broken-down vehicle.
If you are a tow truck driver in Rhode Island and have been involved in a wreck, contact our truck accident lawyers who can help you recover the maximum compensation your injuries entitle you to.
Now, if you are the operator of a tow truck and have been involved in a wreck in Rhode Island, it is recommended you consult with a Rhode Island truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Because these types of accidents tend to result in severe injuries that affect your quality of life, it is important you understand how much you are entitled to collect as a result of the crash. And our attorneys would be more than happy to provide this information to you.