When you drive a tow truck, you’re in charge of a very large vehicle. And that presents some very large challenges, particularly when there are pedestrians and cyclists. The people who are sharing the road with you, whether on foot or on bike, can present even more of an issue. You have to be extremely cautious when you’re driving around people. Here are a few things to be mindful of when you’re operating your tow truck around pedestrians or cyclists.
Tips for driving your tow truck around pedestrians.
1. Know the challenges.
It goes without saying, but you’ve got to be really careful around pedestrians and cyclists. A pedestrian or a cyclist is not protected the same way someone in a car is. There are no airbags, no seatbelts. They’re also not nearly as fast as a vehicle, so they can’t get out of the way. And, when you’re in the cab of the truck, it’s hard to see people and cyclists. Especially considering the blind spots. Just a few reasons to take care on city streets.
2. Pedestrians might not know about the blind spots.
The thing about driving a tow truck is that you know your vehicle. You understand the hazards, and you know the blind spots. But pedestrians and cyclists might not be aware of the blind spots that large trucks have. Trucks have blind spots on all four sides of the vehicle, but pedestrians might not know that. What we’re trying to say is that they might not know they’re even in a blind spot, so they might not know you can’t see them. And that’s why you have to be extremely vigilant when you’re sharing the road with pedestrians and bikes.
3. Be extra careful when backing up.
If you need to back up, you need to be extremely cautious. People might not know that you’re intending to reverse. Anyway, don’t be hasty when you need to back up. Take your time and make sure the path is clear.
4. Watch out when you’re turning.
Large vehicles require a lot of space to turn. (This is another thing that might not be apparent to pedestrians.) Particularly when it comes to making a right turn. Make sure there is nothing in between the vehicle and the curb when you make your turn. If there are pedestrians around, check that everyone is standing well back. Everyone needs to be out of the way.
5. Take it easy.
A large, heavy vehicle like a tow truck takes a long time to stop. So, when you’re in an area with a lot of pedestrians, take it easy. Go slow. The walkers, joggers, and cyclists you’re sharing the road with might not realize that your vehicle is going to take such a long time to stop. So, be conscious of how much time you’ll need to stop your tow truck.
6. Don’t expect pedestrians to obey the laws.
There are rules on the road for a reason, but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to follow them. People who are walking or cycling might not stick to the crosswalks to cross the street. They might not stop for a stop sign or a red light. You have to be on the look out for people who aren’t following the rules. Be prepared for anything. People might be on their phones or they might be listening to music – in other words, they might be distracted and they might act in ways that are unexpected. What we’re saying is that you need to look out for people where they shouldn’t be.
If you’re driving a tow truck in an area where there will be pedestrians and cyclists, you need to take care. Keep your eyes sharp and understand that pedestrians might not know where the blind spots on your vehicle are or that you can’t see them. The roads are shared, after all, so everyone needs to know how to stay safe and keep each other safe.
Get tow truck insurance quotes.
You also need to have the proper insurance for your tow truck business. Our team can help with that. We would love to help you save money on your insurance, and we also like to make insurance easy. You can fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat. Then you’ll be on your way to getting tow truck insurance.