Following distance: Why personal space is important when you’re driving a tow truck

Rear-end collisions can affect tow truck insurance rates.

Things happen fast on the road. The flow of traffic can change with a second’s notice. Since you’re driving a tow truck, you need as much notice as possible to be able to adjust to sudden changes on the road, like someone having to hit the brakes hard. To give yourself time to react and slow your tow truck or wrecker, you need to have lots of following distance between your tow truck and the car in front of you. Personal space is a good thing.

Even if you drive carefully and defensively, if you’re tailgating you might not have a way to prevent hitting the car in front of you if they have to slow down suddenly. Leaving plenty of following distance in front of the tow truck is a simple way to stop a rear-end accident from happening. And preventing accidents means saving money on your tow truck insurance rates!

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Six tips to help tow truck drivers stay safe on unfamiliar roadways

Tow truck cost depends on what kind of tow truck and customization you choose.

Towing is always an adventure. There are always new challenges and hurdles to overcome. Now, your mind might immediately go to the direct challenges of the towing job – namely, attaching the damaged car to the wrecker. But there’s an obstacle that comes up even before you arrive on the scene. And that’s finding where to go in the first place. As a tow truck driver, you’re often required to go to places and drive on roads that you’ve never seen before. Driving on unfamiliar roadways presents risks because part of your mind is set on trying to get your bearings and not get lost. We’ve got some tips to help you handle driving in areas and on roads that you don’t know.

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Slow and steady wins the race for tow truck drivers, not speeding

Speeding is dangerous.

Speeding is dangerous when you’re driving a normal passenger car, let alone a tow truck. There’s a lot of pressure on drivers to go about their jobs quickly and race from Point A to Point B. They don’t want to keep the customer, who’s stranded on the side of the road, waiting, and there’s pressure to get the broken car to its destination quickly so that the driver can move on to the next job. However, it’s important to emphasize the dangers of speeding.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding was a contributing factor to 9,557 driving fatalities in the US in 2015.

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The dangers of driving drowsy when operating a tow truck

Drowsy driving

According to the FMCSA, about 13% of CMV drivers were fatigued at the time that they had a crash. (This from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study.) It’s especially important to raise awareness of this issue among tow truck drivers because commercial vehicle drivers are among those who are most vulnerable to drowsy driving. Sleep is not always a choice – sometimes the body takes over and decides that nap time is now. If you’re driving, though, falling asleep for even seconds and then jolting awake can have catastrophic consequences.

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Why your tow truck drivers should learn defensive driving

Defensive driving can help your tow truck drivers prevent accidents.

Driving is unpredictable. There are a lot of different factors at play, and you can’t control what other drivers will do. They might do something illegal, or they might make a mistake. Your drivers need to know how to drive safely and prevent accidents before they happen, and defensive driving is a big part of doing that. Defensive driving is basically being alert for potential dangers and having a plan to respond to them. The ultimate goal is for the driver to be able to prevent an accident by adjusting or changing their own actions. They can’t control anyone else on the road, but they can control their own decisions and vehicle.

There are three parts of defensive driving: seeing the possible danger, understanding what to do to respond to it, and acting immediately and quickly.

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The power and importance of pre-trip vehicle inspections

Tow truck vehicle inspections are important for safety.

When it’s a busy day work-wise and the calls are coming in left and right, it might seem like there’s no time for pre-trip vehicle inspections of the tow trucks. But pre-trip inspections are an absolute must to ensure the safety of not only your drivers but other people on the roads. It’s a good idea to find any issues with the tow truck or wrecker before it hits the road rather than after.

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Seatbelts: Why you need to wear one every time you drive your tow truck

Seatbelts save lives and keep drivers safe.

Wearing a seatbelt is one of the best ways to stay safe while driving. Tow truck drivers, though they drive a vehicle that’s high off the ground and seems rather indestructible, also need to wear their seatbelts. Sure, a tow truck might win a fight against a teensy little sedan or SUV, but a tow truck driver can still be seriously injured if they’re not wearing their seatbelt. Buckling up is also the law.

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10 tips for staying safe while driving at night (don’t let the dark get you down)

Make sure that your drivers use caution when driving at night.

Tow truck drivers work very odd hours. It’s just a fact of life that cars like to break down at the most inconvenient times, including in the dead of night. If you’re involved in the towing industry, chances are you’ve had your fair share of middle-of-the-night shifts. Rescuing stranded drivers and their cars is a full-time job, emphasis on the full-time.

But driving at night can be very dangerous. Conditions after the sun goes down get treacherous. It’s hard to see hazards that are close to the road, and we can’t see as far ahead of us as we’d like. Plus when it’s dark our bodies are programmed to sleep. Fatigue is another obstacle to contend with.

We’ve put together some tips to help you be safe while driving at night. There are some things you can do to face the dark and keep yourself and other drivers safer.

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The dangers of cell phones: Don’t let your tow truck drivers drive distracted

Cell phones and tow trucks don't mix.

When your drivers are responsible for operating large, heavy tow trucks, they can’t afford any distractions that could take their attention off the road. Even a second of distraction could have disastrous results. With cell phones as a constant temptation, it’s more important now than ever to stress the importance of staying focused on the task at hand. Namely, getting the tow truck and its load to where it needs to go – preferably without crashing into things. The law also has a few things to say about the use of cell phones while driving a tow truck.

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