Tow Truck Drivers – Personal Safety

Tow truck drivers transport vehicles that are wrecked and non-functional. They are the saviors of many motorists who find themselves stranded due to an accident, mechanical breakdown or other problem with their vehicle. They also transport repossessed vehicles and illegally parked vehicles. Additionally, they provide road service to stranded motorists. Tow truck drivers are available 24 hours each day, 7 days of the week. There are safety concerns tow driver drivers should take into account in order to be safe themselves.

Communication

You should make certain that someone is aware of your destination and planned route. You should also inform them of the location that the vehicle will be delivered to. You might also want to give them the name of the person requesting the service and the telephone number they called from.

Caution Loading Vehicles

Tow truck drivers must be particularly cautious when standing outside of their truck. Caution is required when they are loading a vehicle or otherwise helping a stranded motorist. This is how many accidents occur which result in the death of tow truck drivers. A recent California case involved a tow truck driver who was struck and killed upon impact by a hit-and-run driver in just such a manner.

Planned Route

Take the time to plan your route carefully. Once you arrive at the destination you should proceed with caution especially if something appears to be amiss. An Illinois case highlighted a situation where a tow truck driver stopped to assist a broken down vehicle. The occupants robbed the driver at gunpoint and fled the scene. Fortunately, the driver was not injured.

Health & Fitness

Tow truck drivers must have a certain level of health and fitness to perform their jobs well. They should also have knowledge of lifting techniques to avoid back and shoulder injuries. Engaging in regular exercise will help drivers stay fit and enable them to engage in maneuvers which may require them to be able to mount, bend, lift and stretch with relative ease. However, you should never strain or over-reach to perform your job. Also, do not jump up or down into the cab of the truck when loading as this can injure your knees, ankles, hips and even cause you to stumble or fall.

Alertness

A sleepy driver is a dangerous driver. Be sharp and alert. It is most important to avoid distractions. Avoid eating heavy foods which may cause you to be drowsy. Also, avoid the use of alcohol, drugs and medications that tend to cause drowsiness. Stay focused and keep your eyes on the road at all times.

Defensive Driving

Defensive driving training is designed to equip motorists with the tools necessary to identify problems that may arise while driving. Driving defensively will enable you to be more aware of potential road hazards and vehicles in their blind spots.

Clothing

Drivers should wear protective gloves for their hands, a helmet and a green, orange or yellow fluorescent safety vest that meets American National Standards Institute standards. They should wear shoes that have slip-resistant soles and steel toes to minimize the possibility of foot injuries. Appropriate gear should be worn in inclement weather conditions such as rain or snow.

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