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Towing Etiquette: Three Things To Remember When Dealing With Tow Truck Drivers

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Tow truck drivers have a difficult job.  They can be seen as villains and they can be seen as heroes.  They are cursed when towing a vehicle for parking illegally and praised when they rescue a stranded motorist from the side of the road.  Their job can be very dangerous since it sometimes requires working very close to fast moving traffic on the shoulder of busy highways. 

When you come in contact with a tow truck driver, whether driving down the road or receiving their assistance, follow some basic guidelines to make everyone's experience the most pleasant that it can be.

Move over and slow down.

If you are driving and you see the flashing lights of a tow truck driver, remember that they are likely outside the vehicle hitching a car up or changing a tire.  Some states have laws that require cars to change lanes and reduce speed when they see a tow driver or another public safety vehicle on the shoulder of the highway.  There have been many tow driver fatalities due to negligent drivers.  Regardless of your city or state laws, change lanes if you are able to.  At the very least, slow down.  You might save a life. 

Be respectful if they respond to your call for assistance.

If your car breaks down on the side of the road a tow truck will likely come to your rescue.  If you do not have another method of transportation they may even take you to the nearest auto shop with your car.  Many tow companies allow the tow driver to transport you in their vehicle as long as they have seat belts to accommodate you. 

If you are given a ride by the tow driver, remember that you are a guest in their vehicle.  Treat it (and them) with respect.  Don't take over the radio, don't talk incessantly and don't bring food, drink, or pets unless you have cleared it with them first.  Tow drivers usually are not required to transport you and can refuse service to unruly, drunk or otherwise impaired people. 

Give a tip, even though it isn't required.

You don't have to give a tip to a tow driver, and when you find out the cost you may want to.  However, tips are a good way to say thank you.  This is especially thoughtful if they helped you out of a difficult situation or went above and beyond what you expected them to do.

For more information, talk to a professional like Express Tow & Recovery.