What you need to know about texting and driving and tow trucks

Something about cell phones is too tempting to ignore. Though we know that we shouldn’t text and drive, somehow it happens anyway – and often with disastrous consequences. According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, 391,000 were injured and over 3,400 were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2015. The CDC reports that every day in the United States about nine people are killed and 1000 are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. As a tow truck operator, you and your drivers spend hours on the road, and it’s essential that your full attention is on the task at hand. We’ll take a look at why texting and driving is so deadly for tow truck drivers.

The tow truck will keep going even if you aren’t looking ahead.

Tow trucks are machines. They do as they’re told, whether you’re paying attention or not. If you pick up your phone to send or read a text, your eyes are off the road for about five seconds. And the truck doesn’t care that you’re not looking where you’re going. All it knows is go.

A tow truck going 50 miles per hour will travel 367 feet in the space of five seconds. To give some perspective, that’s the length of a football field, plus 67 feet. Would you blindfold yourself, then drive your tow truck across a football field covered with moving cars and pedestrians? Probably not.

A tow truck going 50 mph will clear almost two and a half basketball courts (220 ft) in 3 seconds. In one second, a vehicle going 50 miles per hour will travel 75 feet. Who knows what could happen in that 220 feet? 75 feet? You’re not alone on the road. There are other drivers and pedestrians all around you, people that you could put in danger if you text and drive. It’s sobering and difficult to think about the tragedies that could happen because of a brief lapse in attention. You can’t turn back the clock and stop yourself from doing something, but you can choose not to do it in the first place.

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The FMCSA has banned cell phone use and texting for drivers of commercial vehicles.

Using a handheld mobile device (including texting) is so dangerous and distracting that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued bans against it for drivers of commercial vehicles. Violating this law can lead to severe penalties for the offending CMV driver, including hefty fines and even disqualification by the FMCSA for multiple offenses.

If you absolutely need to send a call, read a text, or type a message, pull over. Get off the road, park your tow truck safely, and talk or text all you want. You’ll significantly reduce your chance of getting into an accident. And fewer accidents means that you can save money on your tow truck insurance. The fewer accidents, tickets, and violations you have, the better for your tow truck insurance.

Anyways, the point we’re trying to make is that texting and driving is illegal for CMV drivers for a reason. When you’re behind the wheel of a tow truck, you’re not just thinking about your own safety. Distracted driving puts innocent people at risk as well.

Increasing safety at your tow truck business.

Taking a stand against distracted driving can help you improve safety at your tow truck business. You can implement a policy that prohibits texting and driving so that your drivers know that you won’t tolerate distracted driving. During the day, there are about 660,000 drivers using a cell phone or other device at any given moment, but you can do everything you can to ensure that your drivers aren’t among them.

There are a lot of things that are out of our control when we’re driving – the weather, the actions of other drivers, traffic. Texting and driving is something that we can – and should – control. Make the choice to refrain from texting and driving. Do it for the sake of the safety of the drivers around you, and for your own safety. Texting and driving might seem harmless, but it’s anything but.

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Are you looking to save some money on your tow truck insurance rates? We would be happy to help with that. We know that tow truck insurance rates have been going up, but our mission to help tow truck businesses save money on their insurance remains unchanged. All you have to do to get tow truck insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.