When it gets dark outside, driving becomes more dangerous. Visibility is reduced at night and the light from other cars’ headlights can play tricks on your eyes. Driving a tow truck can be dangerous at all times of the day, but even more so at night. Your drivers will be having to pull over and assist broken-down vehicles in the middle of the night, which can be risky. Therefore, your drivers must be confident and able to mitigate the risks involved. Night towing requires more focus since there’s an increased chance of injury and collision at night.
Oftentimes tow truck drivers find themselves working the night shift and cars just love to break down when it’s three in the morning and very dark outside. Therefore, we’ve provided some safety tips to keep your tow truck operators safe while on the job.
Safety Tips for Night Towing
The following are some safety tips to follow if you’re towing at night.
Safety Comes First
When you arrive at the scene of an accident or vehicle breakdown, safety must come first. Make sure you pull over onto the shoulder and immediately turn your light on. You should never exit the vehicle from the driver’s side, always go in and out through the passenger side. This is because other drivers passing by could be distracted or speeding and sideswipe your tow truck.
Once you exit the vehicle, set up your cones or reflectors so other drivers can see you. Also, have the passengers of the broken down vehicle sit in your tow truck or stay several feet away from the side of the road.
Here are some other crucial safety tips:
- Establish a safety zone
- Never tow a vehicle that exceeds your weight capacity
- Check your towing equipment regularly
- Create a protective barrier with your tow truck
Make Your Vehicle Visible to Other Drivers
This step is crucial since the majority of injuries and accidents occur at night. Once you arrive at the scene, immediately turn on your blue lights. This will alert oncoming traffic that you’re on the side of the road. Next, you should set up any reflectors, lights, or cones you have. The more visible you make yourself, the easier it will be for other drivers to spot you.
Wear Your Reflective Gear
Protective equipment should be functional and comfortable. Most importantly, their gear needs to be visible to other drivers. When we say this we’re referring to clothing that’s reflective and bright. This will improve the safety of tow operators during the early morning and late at night.
Therefore, every tow truck operator should wear a reflective vest at all times. These vests should be neon orange or yellow. By wearing your reflective gear other drivers will be able to see you when their headlights shine on you.
Be Cautious of Wildlife
Wildlife like elk, deer, and moose will be more active early in the morning before the sun comes up and late at night. Be on the lookout for these animals and if you see one, there’s probably more since they tend to travel in groups. Therefore, when you see one crossing the road, stop and give it a few seconds before you proceed. If you happen to see a wildlife crossing sign along the road, make sure to slow down and be on the lookout.
Night towing is a bit riskier than during the day. This is due to lower visibility and other drivers not complying with Move Over Laws. However, these tips should help you mitigate the risk and stay safe during your shift. Just remember, watch out for wildlife, wear your reflective gear, make your vehicle visible to others, and always put safety first.