Tow Truck Accidents
You can call these wreckers, breakdown trucks or recovery trucks. No matter what you call them, their purpose is to transport vehicles after they have broken down or are no longer able to be driver. 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. Most tow trucks have five major components to them. First of all, the flatbed is the area to which the cars being towed are attached to. They are attached by hooks and chains, so that they do not come loose from the flatbed. Some tow trucks also use wheel lifts, which actually lift the vehicles off of the ground so that cars cannot shift position because of the wheels. Most tow trucks also have what are called "booms" for the purpose of recovering vehicles that are trapped in ditches.
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 of the truck was to blame. This would need to be investigated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Each state has determined the qualifications and experience needed for becoming a tow truck driver. In most states, a driver must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid drivers' license. Most trucking companies will look at a driver's history and criminal record before making the decision to hire them. Drivers must all be insured on a company policy, and drivers with poor records are more difficult to insure. Not only this, but they pose a risk of liability for the company. 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 as well for
negligent hiring practices. Most tow truck drivers must also obtain a tow truck driver certificate or a tow truck license, whichever is required by the state.
GPS & Vehicle Location Technology
GPS technology is now becoming the standard for most tow trucks. One reason for this is so that the drivers can decrease their possibility of accident after getting lost as well as navigating the quickest possible route to save the company time and money. 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 conversely 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 while on the job. If you were involved in an accident and you think that a driver or a company should be held liable,
contact us today.