The consequences of speeding for tow truck drivers

As a tow truck driver, there’s a lot of pressure to hustle on the job so you can haul as many cars as possible. You don’t want the customer to have to wait a long time for you, and when you finally get to the car that needs to be towed you may feel the need to get the car to where it has to go as soon as possible. There may even be the temptation to speed and push the speed limit. However, speeding comes with a lot of risks. It can cause car accidents and can even have a negative effect on your tow truck insurance rates. We’ll go over the dangers of speeding.

What qualifies as speeding?

Speeding means driving faster than the posted speed limit, but it can also mean that you’re driving too fast for the conditions on the road. There are many occasions that could call for slowing down, such as…

  • Slick, wet roads
  • Reduced visibility (rain, darkness, or fog)
  • Curves or sharp turns
  • Construction or work zones
  • Traffic
  • Intersections

Anyways, the point is that speeding isn’t just going above the speed limit. It’s also going too fast for road conditions, which is unsafe.

Why speeding is dangerous:

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t speed. Here are a few…

  1. You can lose control of your tow truck more easily.
  2. It takes more time and distance to bring your tow truck to a halt, meaning that you have less time to react to hazards. Let’s say it takes you three-quarters of a second to react to a slow-down and put your foot on the brake. At 45 mph, you’d travel 49.5 feet in that three-quarters of a second. At 60 mph, you’d travel 66 feet during that time. That’s a difference of nearly 17 feet. That’s a pretty significant distance.
  3. It’s more difficult to perceive hazards and dangers because you have less time to process.
  4. A car accident, if one happens, could be worse because the force of the crash would be greater.
  5. Safety features (such as the seatbelt) that are built into the vehicle won’t be as effective.
  6. You use more fuel when you speed.
  7. Your tow truck insurance rates could go up if you get into an accident or get a speeding ticket.

Driving too fast for conditions:

As we mentioned before, speeding can also mean that you’re driving too fast for conditions on the road. You should slow down and take extra care when driving in the following circumstances:

Poor weather

If you’re driving bad weather, whether it’s rain, snow, or fog, your visibility is not the best. The roads can get very slippery, especially during the first half-hour of rain because oil on the road mixes with the water. That makes the roads dangerous, so you need to slow it down.

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When visibility is bad, you need to increase your following distance. You need some extra time and space to come to a halt and react to a slow-down in the traffic ahead of you.

Curving roads

Tow trucks and wreckers are tall vehicles, and that means they have a high center of gravity. The high center of gravity means that your tow truck is more likely to tip over, roll, and run off the road on a sharp turn than a passenger vehicle. So you have to slow down more than a normal vehicle around a turn. If there’s a reduced speed limit before a turn, it’s meant for smaller, lighter passenger cars. You’ll most likely have to slow down more than the suggested speed limit. If you’re going too fast around a curve and then decide that you need to hit the brakes hard, you could cause your wheels to lock and your tow truck to skid.

Ramps on the highway

On-ramps and exit-ramps can be dangerous – the FMCSA reports that 20%-30% of large truck crashes happen on or near ramps. The turns are very sharp and people are traveling very fast. Keep in mind that, again, the posted speed limits are for passenger cars. You may have to slow down more than the suggested speed limit to take the turn safely.

Work zones

It’s important to take extra care when you’re traveling through construction zones. Traffic might slow suddenly, lanes might be closed, you may have to merge. Plus there could be construction workers alongside the road. Tow trucks are perhaps not the most maneuverable vehicles ever invented, so don’t try to zip through a construction zone.


Ah, there’s nothing quite as aggravating as being stuck in traffic. Yes, it can be highly tempting to follow closely and easy to get going too fast as soon as the cars start moving, but you have to be patient, take it slow, and pay close attention to your surroundings.

The effects of speeding on your tow truck insurance.

Speeding doesn’t just put yourself and other drivers at risk – it can also jeopardize your chances of getting cheap tow truck insurance rates. If you speed, there’s the possibility that you’ll get a speeding ticket. And that doesn’t reflect well on your insurance rates because insurance companies see speeding tickets as a sign of risk. And the riskier you are, the more difficult it can be to find insurance, and when you do it will most likely be very expensive.

Speeding also leads to an increased risk of having a car accident. And since accidents mean tow truck insurance claims, the impact of a speeding-related crash on your insurance rates could be intense. Like speeding tickets, accidents are an indicator that you’re a riskier venture to insure. Plus, too many claims puts you at risk of your policy being nonrenewed, which can make it exceedingly difficult to find new coverage. So, financially it’s not a good idea to speed. You’ll most likely end up paying far more for your insurance.

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There are many reasons not to speed. It’s important to be safe on the roads, both for your sake and the sake of other drivers. When you’re driving a tow truck or wrecker, you’re driving a hefty vehicle. Going above the speed limit could lead to disaster.

Do you want to save money on your tow truck insurance? We can help you with that. All you have to do to get tow truck insurance quotes is fill out our online form or give us a call today. We would be happy to help you save on your wrecker insurance rates.


Gratzianna, Patrick. “Speed.” Tow Times, Jan. 2018, p. 38.