Happy Hauling: 3 Ways To Make A Tow Truck Driver Smile

Tow truck drivers do a lot of amazing, helpful things. Even in the middle of the night, they climb out of their warm beds to help stranded motorists and law enforcement. There are 3 ways you can make a hard-working, dedicated tow truck driver happy.

1) Obey the "Move Over" laws.

Tow truck drivers have an extremely dangerous job. In 2013, across America, one tow truck driver every week was killed while working. Stories about the drivers being hit while working are frequently seen on the news.

In order to retrieve vehicles, tow truck drivers sometimes have to park their trucks in precarious positions, directly next to busy highway lanes or jutting into the road slightly on narrow back roads. When you see a tow truck pulled over with its the yellow lights flashing, give the driver some room by allowing a few feet of space between your vehicle and theirs. Amber lights should be respected as much as red and blue lights are, since tow truck drivers are 5 times more likely to be hit on a call than police, fire rescue or EMS workers.

2) Understand the costs of the tow service.

Nobody wants an extra bill when there's been a breakdown or an accident. But tow truck drivers have to eat, too. They also have to replace expensive tires on a regular basis, pay exorbitant insurance rates and cover local and state fees. Their tow trucks are sometimes more expensive than many top-of-the-line luxury cars. Nevertheless, there have been cases of tow truck drivers being assaulted when customers react to high towing prices.

Instead of getting angry after the fact, ask about the fees in advance. Understand that there may be limits on the amount drivers can charge in some towns, but once out of town, a high mileage tow will exceed that maximum fee. An after-hours call, the use of a winch, or other extenuating circumstances can also add up on your final towing bill. Please don't hurt the tow truck driver. They are just doing their job.

3) Know where blame lies if your car's impounded.

Parking spots are becoming like gold in some communities. There are private lots where shop owners hire spotters to have illegally parked cars towed as soon as possible. You could park in a shopping center lot, run in to pick up a new pair of shoes, and walk out to find your car has been towed. Why? You didn't obey the parking rules. If a sign says, "This space reserved for ABC Bank patrons only," don't think it's a joke. These days, you will have your car towed, you will have it impounded, and you will pay dearly to get your car back.

But don't blame the tow truck driver. Had you followed the parking rules, and not parked in a handicapped spot or a reserved space, you wouldn't have that bill. If you disagree with a building's parking policy, just don't shop there. Otherwise, follow the rules.

Tow truck drivers will appreciate it if you help them stay safe, and if you refrain from berating them when you feel the bill's too high or getting mad at them for parking rules they didn't make. Tow truck drivers put their lives on the line for stranded motorists all across this nation, and should be treated well as a result. If you're looking for a tow trucking company in your area, visit Car And Truck Services Inc.