While no one every wishes for accidents to occur, they are inevitable really – a bad bit of luck, a moment of carelessness or any other number of unforeseen factors can and do lead to road accidents. And while most involve a dented fender or some other part, some can be serious enough to warrant a towing of the vehicle. And if such a case arises then proper towing as well as recovery safety are pivotal; besides law enforcement and ambulatory services, towing companies are part of the first response teams and upon arrival are expected to secure the area in addition to providing vehicle and passenger safety. This article will discuss some of the safety protocol which should be followed by the towing personnel.
The Proper Gear
Safety is the foremost concern in any matter of emergency, and the first step is the proper gear. The tow truck operator (and any accompanying personnel) should arrive in the proper gear which is recommended for such situations. They should be clearly visible to other drivers whilst they work to tow the vehicle away, Federal Law (in most cases) requires them to wear clothing which has high visibility. All roadway and emergency workers are required by the Federal Highway Administration to wear a fluorescent safety vest (either green, yellow or orange) that meets a set of proper standards of the American National Standards Institute. It is also advisable that – besides the vest – they also wear a reflective helmet.
Arriving on Scene
Depending on the accident in question, the situation could be dire; especially if said accident occurred on a busy interstate highway so it is essential that the proper measures are taken to ensure further harm does not come to the rest of the traffic.
The operator should announce his arrival through the emergency lights, and he will need to monitor the area around the accident for signs of other traffic. For obvious reasons, oncoming traffic on the road needs to be cautioned about the incident which has taken place and this can quickly be done through the deployment of flares, cones, barricades, flashing lights and warning signs – a reasonable stretch of road should be cut off and traffic diverted for the time being.
As part of the team cordons, the remaining members must quickly do a check of the area especially for any sort of fluid which might be spilling onto the road, or the soil near the road. Other details such as the overall damage to the immediate environment must be assessed and reported to the proper authority. If there is a fire then a safe distance must be established around the source to protect workers as well as onlookers.
Proper procedures must be followed as the operator loads the car in the truck, attachment to the vehicle must be done at an appropriate point to ensure it doesn’t present any sort of issues during the towing. And the fastening should also be double checked.