What Risks Do Tow Truck Drivers Have on the Job?
Posted in Truck Accidents on July 2, 2018
Tow-truck driving is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Traveling to a foreign location, calming stressed drivers, working with heavy equipment, and maneuvering busy roads are all just part of a day’s work for tow-truck drivers. They can face many health and safety risks while on the job. Although they require special training before they can work, tow-truck drivers aren’t always able to avoid danger and prevent accidents. The following are common risks that tow-truck drivers in Tennessee face.
Driver distraction is deadly for tow-truck drivers. Texting and driving, calling friends, chatting with passengers, changing the radio station, or paying too much attention to the broken-down vehicle and flashing lights to focus on the road are all dangerous driver habits that could result in a vehicle colliding with the tow truck, disabled car, or tow-truck driver. Tennessee bans texting and driving using handheld phones, but thousands of drivers break this law daily. Sending a text could be the last thing a driver does before striking a parked tow truck.
Like most states, Tennessee has enacted a “Move Over” law that requires all drivers to move over for stopped emergency vehicles. This includes ambulances, police officers, fire trucks, utility service vehicles, and tow trucks. According to the law, drivers must move at least one lane over for stopped emergency vehicles on the side of the road. If they can’t move over, they must slow down to a safe speed. This law has the power to save tow truck drivers’ lives – if all motorists took it seriously. Negligent drivers frequently break roadway rules, increasing the risk for tow truck drivers.
Distracted driving is an act of driver negligence. Recklessness is different. A reckless driver knows that what he or she is doing could potentially hurt someone but does it anyway. Examples include drunk driving, excessive speeding, racing, and red-light running. Reckless drivers are extremely dangerous to tow-truck drivers, as they may crash into the vehicle or worker without even trying to slow down, stop, or avoid a collision. This results in higher-speed accidents and more serious injuries.
As these things happen, many vehicle breakdowns occur in high-crime areas, at night, on bridges, on the side of busy highways, and other dangerous locations. Tow truck drivers must not only look out for their personal safety but of the safety of the vehicle owner. Drivers must be brave and cautious enough to perform their jobs in dangerous locations without making a serious mistake or endangering anyone. Drivers slowing down and moving over for stopped tow trucks can make their jobs less high-stakes.
Acts of Violence
Angry, stressed, or frustrated drivers may take their emotions out on the tow truck driver simply for doing his or her job. Drivers may interrupt the tow truck driver’s job to comment on the care of a vehicle or how to resolve the problem, making the job last longer and possibly leading to an altercation. The side of the road can be a high-tension environment, especially if the tow truck driver is responding to an accident. Aggressive drivers and road rage can put tow truck drivers at risk of assault and other violent crimes.
Injured as a Tennessee Tow-Truck Driver?
If you or a family member suffered injuries while on the job as a tow truck driver in Tennessee, discuss your future with a Nashville accident attorney. An experienced accident lawyer can help you file a workers’ compensation claim but can also explore other legal options. A personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver, employer, or another party could result in more money than workers’ compensation alone. Talk to Nashville personal injury lawyer about your truck accident today.