Roadside safety is essential because it impacts the tow truck operator, the customer, and the other cars on the road. It can be quite hectic assisting someone with a broken-down vehicle on the side of the road. Especially since the majority of the time, you have other cars flying by you. As you can imagine, tow truck operators have to put themselves in risky situations all the time.
Unfortunately, a majority of passing vehicles ignore Move Over Laws; therefore, putting the life of the tow truck operator and their customer at risk. Therefore, if you tow vehicles for a living, you need to be aware of some roadside safety tips.
In this article, we are discussing these tips in great detail, let’s begin.
Roadside Safety Tips for Tow Truck Operators
Carry Cones, Flares, and Reflectors
Reflective equipment is the first step towards ensuring better roadside safety for tow truck operators. These cones and reflectors must be visible to oncoming traffic from afar. This is because the sooner oncoming traffic can spot the tow truck, the more time they have to slow down and move over.
On the other hand, not having this equipment can create a dangerous situation for everyone involved. If other drivers are unable to see you on the side of the road, the more likely you are to be hit.
We also suggest carrying a sufficient number of reflective jackets for you and the passengers of the broken-down vehicle.
Enter and Exit the Vehicle from the Passenger Side
The passenger side of a vehicle is always on the opposite side of traffic. Therefore, you should only enter and exit your vehicle from the passenger side. If you were to open your driver’s side door into oncoming traffic you could be struck.
For example, narrow shoulders make it difficult for drivers to get out. Therefore, you should always assess the situation before exiting the vehicle. If there’s a wide enough shoulder where you can open the door on the driver’s side then feel free to do so.
Ensure Your Customer’s Safety
Ensuring customer safety should be your number one priority as a tow truck driver when you reach a broken-down vehicle. We suggest turning on your hazard lights and providing the passengers with safety vests. You should then escort the passengers to a safe spot, usually on the side of the road, away from oncoming traffic.
Also, you could give them the option to sit and wait in your tow truck. This could be the safest option if there’s poor weather conditions, or other factors, which make standing outside more dangerous.
Illuminate Your Work
The last thing you want to be doing is providing roadside assistance in the dark. Doesn’t matter if you’re hooking up the vehicle, changing a tire, or jumping it, you want to be able to see what you’re doing.
The best thing to do is carry a light on a clamp or stand that you can set up on the side of the road. The more light you have to work with, the quicker you’ll be able to complete the task.
Ensuring roadside safety during tow truck operations is key to the safety of the tow truck operator and their customer. Simple steps like creating a highly visible work area, ensuring customer safety, entering and exiting from the passenger side, etc., can all contribute to a safer work environment.