Not only are tow trucks frequently operated by unqualified drivers, they are often subject to improperly loaded vehicles which then later shift.
No matter whether you call them wreckers, breakdown trucks, or recovery trucks, the purpose of a tow truck is to transport vehicles after they have broken down or are no longer able to be drive. Typically, these are the trucks that you call after an accident so that your car can be taken to a repair shop. AAA is a good example of a company that operates tow trucks as a part of their services as an emergency road service.
The 5 Major Components of a Tow Truck
What can sometimes happen when these vehicles are not loaded properly is that cars will shift while in operation. If a car shifts while the tow truck is moving, it not only poses a risk to the driver but all other drivers on the road. These accident cleanup vehicles can then become the cause of an additional accident. An improperly loaded car would be the fault of the tow truck driver unless faulty mechanics were to blame. This would need to be investigated by the NHTSA.
Before making any hiring decisions, trucking companies will look at a driver's history and criminal record. Drivers must all be insured on a company policy; drivers with poor records are not only more difficult to insure, but they also pose a serious liability. For this reason, those with DUIs and other criminal charges on their records may not be hired.
In the event that an individual with a poor driving history does get hired by a tow truck company, and then gets in an accident, it may be the liability of the trucking company for negligent hiring practices.
The Pre-Employment Screening Program is designed to help motor carriers hire new employees who are qualified, skilled, and reliable. We look further into the effectiveness of this program.Learn More
GPS capability has become the standard for tow trucks. GPS technology helps drivers decrease their possibility of an accident after getting lost, as well as navigate the quickest possible route.
Some companies even have what is known as "automatic vehicle location" (AVL) which are operated by the tow truck dispatch center. A call will come into the dispatch center asking for a tow truck, and then the AVL will be used to find the closest available tow truck. These GPS technologies have a double purpose. While they are used so that the drivers can navigate to their destinations, they are also used by the trucking companies to monitor their drivers. Some companies have utilized this technology to see if their drivers are speeding or practicing other forms of reckless driving.
If you were involved in an accident and think a driver or a company should be held liable, contact us.