It is always a positive to hear that towing companies are taking steps to modernize. It is an industry that is often accused of being behind the times – of operating in the same way it did decades ago.
But towing companies are making changes. Many are now using advanced GPS systems to help them track their fleet in real time. Others are using apps, with some offering apps to employees and others using them for customer interaction as well. These technologies help to streamline the towing process, ensuring in a better experience for the customer and more efficiency for the business.
Technology is not always helpful though. It can create some new challenges that towing companies will need to face. And one of those challenges facing towing companies in Canada is the balancing act between advanced technology and road safety.
Towing Drivers and Accidents
Most people associate contacting a tow truck when they have car trouble or get in an accident. But we have been reading about recent reports that mention accidents caused by tow truck drivers.
It is not uncommon, as tow trucks are on every Canadian road at all hours. Accidents involving tow trucks are bound to happen – it is an inevitability. The issue is that some of the recent incidents were caused by a distracted tow truck driver.
The driver was not distracted because they were texting or playing a game on their phone. They were distracted because of the electronic screen next to their steering wheel.
Many tow truck companies in Canada now use advanced systems that help their drivers remain efficient. The driver can see the messages from the main hub, telling them about the next customer and what issue they are experiencing. They can also use the screen to navigate to the next location.
The issue is that operating those screens and keeping up with all the instructions is a distraction. It is not like it was in the past, when a tow truck driver got a call as they were pulled over. They were told where to go and then drove to that location. Now they are looking at a screen as they are driving.
The result is more accidents involving tow truck companies because of distracted drivers. How can this problem be averted?
Better Training for Drivers
Most experts believe that it is a lack of training that is causing these incidents. Drivers having to look at a screen while driving is not new. Many Uber and taxi drivers look at their phone as they are navigating. And the accident rates are not higher because of it.
With tow truck drivers, it may be a case of giving them better training. Companies need to indicate when it is appropriate for a driver to fiddle around with their screen. When they are driving, it should only be used to look at the directions on the map.
Any communication features or other actions through the screen should only be done when the driver is stopped at a red light.
Tech is good for the tow truck industry. It is time these companies modernized and offered customers a more compelling service. But some hiccups are expected. It is just a matter of improving driver training to ensure they are remaining safe while driving out to customers.