EAST SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Tow truck drivers deal with dangers on a regular basis and way too often drivers aren’t paying attention to them. Many of those drivers are failing to slow down and move over, not obeying the law.
A tow truck driver is considered one of the nation’s most deadly jobs. AAA reporting on average two emergency responders, including two truck drivers are struck and killed every month by a driver who doesn’t follow the Slow Down, Move Over Law.
Chris Quonce has been behind the wheel of a tow truck for almost 30 years. Quonce currently works at Oakes Towing Service on James Street in East Syracuse. He says it’s a risky job.
“It’s pretty dangerous out there, being on the highway. I’ve had times where I’ve had to jump over the guard rail, people not paying attention,” said Quonce.
But the job is also rewarding. NewsChannel 9 asked him what he enjoyed the most about the job. Quonce added, “helping people the most.”
Helping people… it’s what Quonce does every day.
“We always take priority with people that are broke down on the side of the road over for instance you’re broke down in your driveway. I am going to get the person that’s on the highway first, because being a stranded motorist I’ve been there myself,” said Quonce.
Oakes Towing Service gets about eight to 10 calls a day. Most of those calls include taking drivers like Quonce to the side of the highway, requiring him to put his life on the line and protecting himself as much as he can.
“We wear reflective clothing, bright clothing a little more visible. We have cones that we set up if we’re going to be out there for a period of time,” said Quonce.
Conner Rosso, manager of Oakes Towing Service says drivers go through training each year, but this is something you can’t exactly train for.
“It’s kind of hard to train for a slow down move over situation because again its life or death what’s instant quick but our drivers go through rec master classes and learn how to tow,” said Rosso.
Mover Over laws are in all 50 states, however, AAA says motorist awareness and compliance are inconsistent, with 71% of Americans unaware of their state’s laws according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.