Tow Truck Driver Accident Death Sparks Call for Change in Law

On behalf of Brown & Crouppen, P.C. posted in Motor Vehicle Accident on Monday, September 10, 2012

All motorists may find themselves stranded on the road at one time or another. When our car breaks down or is damaged in a car accident, the next step after getting off the road — if possible — is to call a tow truck. When the tow truck driver arrives, he or she gets to work hooking up your vehicle to the truck. Because heavy highway traffic is often happening just a few feet away, the job is dangerous. Too often, speeding or negligent drivers in Missouri strike tow drivers working on the side of the road, injuring or even killing them.

Tragically, an 18-year-old tow truck driver recently died after this sort of accident, despite the fact that he had his truck’s flashing lights on to warn motorists. According to the owner of a tow company, accidents like this one are the reason Missouri needs to amend its laws to treat tow trucks as emergency vehicles in all roadside situations.

Motorists are required under the law to slow down for emergency vehicles. Currently, tow trucks are considered to be emergency vehicles when responding to car accidents, but not when they are helping someone whose car broke down for other reasons, such as a flat tire. The current legal situation puts tow truck drivers at increased risk, the business owner said. To change this, the Missouri Tow Truck Association plans to lobby the Legislature to amend the law during the next session.

Until then, it will simply be drivers’ responsibility to avoid a dangerous accident by keeping on the lookout for men and women hooking up vehicles to their tow trucks.
Source: The Telegraph, “Motorists urged to slow down for tow trucks,” Cynthia M. Ellis, Sep. 10, 2012

Our law firm represents people who have been injured in a variety of motor vehicle accidents. To learn more, please visit our St. Louis car accidents page.

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