What Risks Do Tow Truck Drivers Face?


Potential hazards are part and parcel of countless occupations. Doctors, chefs, carpenters, electricians, police officers and firefighters all have health and safety matters to consider, albeit very different ones.

Like any of these other jobs, driving a tow truck requires a sensible mindset, a professional attitude and a commitment to safety. What dangers do two truck drivers face in their day to day work?


Challenging weather

First and foremost, it’s critical to bear in mind that tow truck drivers do not respond to calls constantly. A large part of their work involves sitting in the office completing paperwork.

This can include speaking to drivers whose cars have been removed from private property and filing reports on finished jobs.

When out on the road, one of the biggest risks tow truck drivers face is challenging weather. This varies depending on the time of year and the local climate. For example, extreme snowfall and rain may create wet or icy roads, leading to slippery roads.

Tow truck drivers need to focus on staying safe while trying to reach customers, especially when towing a vehicle. Drivers need to stay up to date with weather forecasts and consider what conditions they should expect when they venture out of the office on a call.


Dangerous drivers

Tow truck drivers will have to stop and provide roadside assistance at times. A customer’s car battery may stop working, their tire may blow or their gas tank can run dry.

Towing firms will send a driver out to help solve the caller’s problem, often available 24 hours a day. This presents the technician working on the vehicle with a major hazard: other drivers on the road.

Undertaking tire replacements (for example) or even preparing a car to be towed essentially puts tow truck operators at the mercy of other drivers. Tow truck drivers have died in the line of duty for numerous reasons, including being struck by motorists failing to slow to a safe speed when passing by.

Deaths among tow truck drivers are so common that the Canadian Automobile Association donates money to the Survivor Fund of the International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum, to benefit the families who have lost loved ones working in the towing industry.

Tow truck drivers set lights up to show motorists that they are working, but this may still not be enough to make drivers slow. In most cases, though, tow truck drivers can work safely provided they proceed with caution.


Disgruntled civilians

Occasionally, drivers may find a towing technician is removing their vehicle from private property.

This can be incredibly frustrating, and a confrontation could quickly turn risky if the driver is already in a negative state of mind. Tow truck drivers may have been hired by the property-owner to take the car away and are just trying to do their job.

Though the civilian will be able to get their car back by following procedure, they may still lash out at the driver and lay the blame for the situation at their feet.

Tow truck drivers have the right to do their work without being harassed or abused by members of the public. However, they will need to stay calm and complete their job quickly if they find themselves in a potentially dangerous encounter.

The tow truck drivers that co-operate with us, at Swift Towing Calgary, are highly trained, experienced and professional. Each one of them is aware of the risks and takes every step necessary to stay safe while providing towing services.

Drivers in Calgary can rest assured that Swift Towing’s technicians are committed to following all essential health and safety procedures, to ensure they can minimize the occupational hazards they face.