Drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians are all at some risk of injury when they venture out onto the road. However, a recent uptick in severe injuries among Oregon and Washington tow truck drivers highlights the dangers of this industry, with many tow truck drivers urging others on the road to exercise more caution when behind the wheel. Here are some things Portland and Vancouver drivers should know about making roads safer for tow truck drivers and other vehicles.
A Dangerous Profession
Tow truck drivers often face grueling work conditions, from 12-hour workdays to around-the-clock availability in the event that a motorist needs to be towed at any given moment. Tow truck drivers are considered “emergency” responders, as they may drive along the shoulder of the road to reach the site of an accident. Most drivers may not know that they are obligated to slow down and move over to allow tow trucks to pass. Additionally, working along a highway shoulder where passing vehicles are traveling up to 80 miles per hour also poses a considerable threat to tow truck drivers. In 2019, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that the motor vehicle towing industry has a death rate over 15 times the rate for all other U.S. private industries.
Recent Vancouver Tow Truck Driver Injuries
Within the last six months, tow truck drivers in the Vancouver area have suffered debilitating injuries or death. One driver lost a leg when a passing vehicle struck him on the job and pinned him between two vehicles. Another lost his life when a driver veered her car into a tow truck and the car it was assisting, killing the tow truck driver and two others. One tow truck driver was seconds away from being crushed by a passing car, but he moved out of the way just in time. Experts believe that the lack of driver awareness around their obligation to look for tow trucks and move out of their way, coupled with more drivers traveling at higher speeds in recent months, has contributed to this uptick in two truck driver injuries and fatalities.
Contact a Trusted Vancouver Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Traveling on Oregon and Washington roadways carries some risk, even if you follow all safety practices. Accidents still occur, and they can leave you with devastating and costly injuries. Working with a trusted personal injury attorney can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with your injuries. Let your attorney negotiate a settlement on your behalf while you focus on what matters most—your recovery.
If you’ve suffered an auto accident injury in the Portland or Vancouver area, call the experienced and compassionate personal injury attorneys at Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478.