May 11, 2022
Tow truck drivers face the risk of accidents and injuries. The fact is, it’s a dangerous job. As the owner/manager of a tow truck company, that risk is passed onto you.
When one of your tow truck operators has an accident, it costs you time, money, and valuable resources. You could spend over $75,000 for one vehicular accident or personal injury.
So how do you increase tow truck driver safety and reduce accidents?
We have a three-step process that’s guaranteed to reduce accidents, injuries, and cost of loss.
First and foremost, any job that requires you to drive is dangerous.
OSHA consistently ranks driving as one of the top ten most dangerous jobs. That includes truck drivers, bus operators, passenger transport, and - yes - tow truck operators. Your tow truck operators face the highest risk of accident and injury while they’re behind the wheel, even if they aren’t towing a vehicle.
Of course, they face the risk of accidents and injuries beyond driving as well:
All of these present the potential for serious or potentially deadly results.
As the owner or manager of a tow truck company, you can benefit immensely from investing in accident prevention. First, there’s the moral aspect. You should care about the health, safety, and lives of your drivers.
Second, there’s the financial aspect. One accident can cost you anywhere from $16,000 (if it’s minor) all the way up to $500,000 or more if there’s a fatality.
This means paying for safety training is almost guaranteed to be a positive return on your investment.
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Now you know why it’s important to work towards preventing accidents. So how should you go about it?
Our clients save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year by following this proven process:
When you hire a tow truck driver, you could be hiring your next accident. That’s why it’s important to only hire low-risk drivers.
The best place to start is their motor vehicle report. Do they have any accidents, tickets, or violations? The more they have, the less you want them driving for you.
However, someone’s driving record is only part of the picture. A bad driver can get lucky, and you don’t want their luck to run out in your truck. That’s why you also need hiring assessment tools.
We recommend a combination of informal interviews, structured/scored interviews, and personality assessments to determine if someone is a good fit.
Most of these options are low-cost and ask for very little time from your applicants.
It’s not adverse weather, bad equipment, or other drivers. Your accidents are caused by your people.
Situations like adverse weather increase risk, but accidents only happen when your tow truck operators fail to slow down and leave more room. Worn tires increase risk of skidding or spinning out, but that only happens when your operators fail to notice and correct the problem.
This is actually all good news. Since accidents are caused by people and their unsafe behaviors, they can be prevented. However, not all accidents were created equally. Most likely, there are 3 to 6 accidents that represent the majority of your cost of loss.
Success begins with discovering those.
You need to perform an investigation into what your most common and costly accidents are. Use past accident reports, event video recorders (if you have them), and even interviews with safety managers.
Then, decipher what causes these accidents. If rear-end collisions are common for your company, that means your tow truck drivers are failing to leave enough room in front of them. If your operators consistently suffer back injuries from lifting machinery, they need to be taught safe lifting techniques.
When you diagnose your problems, you will have more success solving them.
With your top 3 to 6 most common and costly accidents, you’re ready to train your tow truck drivers. Best-in-class companies do this with a three-pronged approach:
First, new hires should take online self-directed training to teach them essential safe driving skills. This requires very little time on your end but delivers powerful learning outcomes. A program like The Fleet Safety Course guarantees a positive return on investment and an immediate reduction in accidents.
Then, you should conduct in-person training for new hires. You’ll want to cover everything from company policy, procedures, and safety processes. You’ll also want to spend time focusing on your most common and costly accidents.
Finally, we recommend doing some type of recurring training. Monthly safety meetings focused on one important topic will ensure all of your drivers keep safety top of mind. This way, you achieve consistent safety results.
In fact, there are services out there that send you everything you need for a monthly safety meeting. It’s a safety meeting in a box that guarantees positive safety results.
It sounds weird to put it that way, but it’s true: by doing nothing, you’re wasting time and money.
Accidents cost tow truck companies anywhere from $16,000 to well over $500,000 in increased insurance expenses, lost time, employee injuries, court dates, and more.
Why would you choose to do business this way?
By following our simple three-step process, you’ll save time and money while protecting your tow truck operators. They’ll avoid accidents while cleaning up everyone else’s.
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