Tow truck drivers are an essential part of the transportation industry, providing a vital service to the public by helping people who have broken down or been involved in an accident on the road. Unfortunately, the job comes with risks, particularly when it comes to tow truck drivers’ safety. According to a recent study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, tow truck drivers experience some of the highest fatality rates out of any occupation.
The report found that there were 103 fatal work injuries involving tow truck drivers in 2018 alone. This means that for every 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in this occupation, there were 32.3 fatalities — more than double the rate for all occupations combined (14.3 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers). The study also found that 39 percent of all work-related fatalities involving tow truck drivers occurred while they were driving or riding in a vehicle — often while they were transporting a towed vehicle or trying to secure it to their vehicle.
These statistics are concerning and point to the need for increased safety measures when it comes to tow truck drivers. To this end, some states have implemented laws requiring tow truck operators to use warning lights and signs when operating on a roadway and for motorists to give them extra room when passing them on the highway. Additionally, many companies are implementing safety training programs aimed at reducing work-related injuries and fatalities among their employees.
Although these measures may help reduce fatalities among tow truck drivers in the future, it is important for everyone on the road — both motorists and tow truck operators — to do what they can to ensure safety whenever possible. Tow truck operators should always be aware of their surroundings when working on a roadway and motorists should always be cautious around them by giving them extra room and slowing down if necessary.
How many tow truck drivers die each year? The answer is unfortunately too many – 103 fatal work injuries involving tow truck drivers were reported in 2018 alone according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite this alarming statistic, increased safety measures can help reduce fatality rates among tow truck drivers if both motorists and tow truck operators take steps towards ensuring safety whenever possible.