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Safe Towing Practices: Ensuring Visibility At Night

Safe towing practices demand that Colorado towers pay particular attention to ensuring safety in their operations at night. Much of the danger inherent in towing comes from consistently operating in the proximity of high-speed vehicles, as in providing road side assistance on a highway. At night, this danger is compounded by poor visibility compared to daytime operation. It is essential that Colorado towers always be aware of their situation when operating in dangerous areas and to take steps to ensure the visibility of themselves and their tow truck. There are several tools at the disposal of Colorado towers who are committed to safe towing operations. For night visibility, there are reflective clothing types, collapsible traffic cones, reflective tape, flares, LED safety batons and LED beacons, strobes and flashers. We will briefly comment on each of these items and their use as visibility aids for nighttime towing operations and road side assistance.

Special care should be taken to ensure visibility when operating at night.

Special care should be taken to ensure visibility when operating at night.

  • Reflective clothing and vests – Safety vests are required apparel during nighttime operations for Colorado towers. They contain highly reflective material which significantly increases the visibility of a tower operating roadside. In addition to vests, hats and other reflective clothing are available as well as reflective tape that can be applied to clothing or other surfaces.
  • LED safety batons – These devices are more commonly associated with law enforcement and other traffic personnel, but they can also be useful for Colorado towers in the event that the tower needs to direct traffic away from the scene of an accident or gesture to drivers for another reason. Extreme care should always be taken in these types of situations and other visibility gear (like vests, flares, LED beacons) should be deployed any time you must direct traffic.
  • Flares, LED beacons/lights/flashers – These all are designed to increase visibility and can also be used to help section off the scene of an accident or to create a protective ‘visibility wall’ between traffic and a tower providing road side assistance. They are essential tools for safe towing. During the day, collapsible traffic cones can be used instead of flares of LED lights.

When operating roadside during the night, visibility is perhaps the most important facet of safe towing practices. Consideration should be taken to make sure that all Colorado towers are using all of the tools at their disposal and their best practices to ensure visibility and safety for towing operations at night.

(photo by D.H. Parks via Flickr)

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