Roadside danger is just part of the job

Towing is a perilous profession


We see towers out on the road every day simply doing their job, yet we probably don’t give them or their profession much thought.

The tower’s job can be difficult, challenging and deadly.

It’s no easy task to upright an overturned rig without causing further damage, or to recover a vehicle that has gone down a mountainside or to quickly and safely clear a roadway accident to get traffic flowing.

Little do we realize just how dangerous the job of a tower is. Often, towers are the first to arrive on an accident scene, even before first responders.

I had the honor and privilege to serve as master of ceremonies for Festival Night at the recent American Towman Exposition, which is held annually in Baltimore, MD. The Exposition is the premier tow show and convention serving the towing and recovery industry.

A highlight of the annual convention is Festival Night, which celebrates towing’s heroic spirit.

It was at this event that I learned more than 100 tow operators are killed throughout the U.S. each year from tow-related incidents or accidents, mostly while involved in service activities on the highway.

I also came to find out that towing professionals often put their life at risk in the endeavor to save another life.

At Festival Night, a select group of towers are honored for their heroic accomplishments.

At this past Festival Night, these included pulling people out of burning vehicles, extricating occupants from crushed vehicles, freeing an elderly woman trapped in her car submerged in a raging river and pulling a law enforcement official investigating a traffic accident out of the way of an out-of-control vehicle approaching the scene.

Since 1989, some 300 towing professionals have been honored during Festival Night for “the simple act of bravery.”

The next time you come upon a tower doing his job, be sure to give him or her a wide berth so they can perform their job safely.

It also would be nice to give the tower a salute for doing such a necessary and dangerous job.