National News

Harrowing video shows perils of being a tow truck driver

Posted January 2, 2018 3:18 p.m. EST

— A local tow truck driver is giving motorists a first-hand look at the perils faced in his profession with a harrowing cell phone video shot during a highway call.

"It's getting worse. There's so many distractions these days," said tow truck driver Tyler Petersen.

In the video shot last week, cars and semis are shown barrelling down the highway, inches away from Peterson while he prepares to tow a car.

At one point, he's lying on the shoulder of the road with a semi whizzing dangerously close. That semi driver then gives him the middle finger.

"In the video, I threw up my hands, the guy was flipping me off, like it's my fault I was almost hit by him," he said.

Iowa law doesn't mandate moving over for tow drivers, but police say it is a common sense, lifesaving courtesy.

"It's specific for law enforcement vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, but if you see flashing lights please move over," said Shawn Voights, Traffic Bureau Commander with the Davenport Police Department.

The 22-year-old has been towing cars for the family business for years, and says he shot the video to inspire others to think about the lives of tow truck drivers.

"People need to slow down and be more aware of their surroundings on the road. Pay attention. I'm not in hazard every day as much as people in bigger cities," he said.

"When you're in a ditch, who's coming to get you? We are."