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.
Speeding: Not just exceeding the speed limit
Speeding doesn’t just mean travelling above the posted speed limit. It also means that a driver is going too fast for current road conditions – for example, if it’s raining or the road is curving. There are a number of treacherous conditions for tow truck drivers.
- Roads that are slick due to rain
- Reduced visibility
- Work zones
- Heavy traffic
Any of these conditions are extremely dangerous if a tow truck driver is going too fast.
The dangers of speeding.
There are many different dangers of going too fast, whether the tow truck driver is going above the speed limit or going too fast for road conditions. Speeding means that…
- The driver can lose control of the vehicle more easily
- The tow truck takes longer to come to a full stop
- An accident, if one happens, could be more severe
- The tow truck driver is using more gas
- The seatbelt and other safety measures in the tow truck aren’t as effective (remember, seatbelts are essential to safety)
- The company’s tow truck insurance rates could go up due to an accident or ticket
Take extra care when driving in…
Tow truck drivers have to set their speed based on the weather and road conditions, not to mention how clearly they’re able to see. It’s important to take it easy and slow down when roads are wet from a recent rain. When it rains, the water mixes with oil on the asphalt, making the streets dangerous and slick.
If the visibility is poor, it’s important that the driver slow down so they have as much time as possible to react to something happening in front of them, such as a car breaking suddenly. It’s also important for the tow truck driver to back off and keep an appropriate following distance between them and the car in front.
Big, tall vehicles and winding roads…not a good combination. The higher center of gravity makes taller vehicles more susceptible to rolling over and running off the road. Remember, the reduced speed limit set before a curve is meant to be a safe speed for a passenger car, which is lighter and closer to the ground than a tow truck. A tow truck may have to slow down even more.
Hitting the brakes in the middle of a curve if you’re going too fast can be disastrous. The wheels can lock and the tow truck might skid. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 40% of speeding fatalities occur on curves.
On-ramps and exit-ramps can be treacherous because of how tight the turns are and how fast people go. Again, the posted speed limit is for passenger cars, not tow trucks. Big trucks have to slow down more. The FMCSA states that 20-30% of large truck crashes occur on or near ramps. Tow truck drivers need to take extra care getting on or off the highway – the curves might be sharper than they anticipate.
Work or construction zones often cause some slow-downs and obstacles. Lanes could be closed, drivers might have to stop suddenly, the road might narrow. Since tow trucks are a bit larger than your typical car, drivers need to be extra vigilant and take it slowly.
Traffic can be extremely aggravating. It can be tempting to try to zoom around it or to get going too fast when you have the slightest bit of room. But it’s also necessary to anticipate the actions of other drivers and go slowly enough to react to any unexpected moves on the road. Don’t rush. Leave plenty of space between the tow truck and the next car.
A note about speeding and tow truck insurance rates.
Ah, you knew we had to talk about insurance somewhere, right? Speeding can lead to a speeding ticket, which your insurance company won’t like. Drivers with speeding tickets on their records tend to make tow truck insurance rates go up since insurance companies aren’t crazy about risk. And tickets are seen as signs that your drivers and company are risky. So, not speeding can help you save money on your tow truck insurance rates.
Speeding also causes crashes, which means claims. And again, insurance companies don’t like claims or risk. So, the consequences of speeding on your insurance rates could be very severe. That’s why it’s so important that your employees know how to drive defensively and safely. Don’t let speeding ruin your rates.
Want to get three free quotes on your tow truck insurance? Look no further than this website. We can help you shop for your insurance – we’ll take the time to identify the risks that your business faces and help you get the insurance you need to protect you from them. All you have to do to get started with your three free quotes is fill out our form or give us a call today. We’re happy to help.
Gratzianna, Patrick. “Speed.” Tow Times, Jan. 2018, p. 38.