Push Bumpers Will Clear Triangle Traffic Jams

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WAKE COUNTY, N.C. — In a Wake County one-car accident on Thursday, there was a one-hour wait for a tow truck to move the wreckage. Angry commuters couldn't believe how long it took to clear the way.

“I would say that you could take some pictures and get the car off the road and let's get going,” said driver Tom McManus.

Many drivers complain they've spent too much time stuck in a traffic jam, waiting for someone or something to clear wreckage. The DOT says a push bumper is the answer. The rubber-coated, specially designed road-clearing device is now on six DOT Incident Management Trucks in the Triangle.

“You don't have to be quite so particular about how you approach a car to push it, and with this flat surface that we have on the bumper, it's easy to push a car without doing damage to it,” said Incident Management representative David Knight.

Using a WRAL News truck as a test subject, the no-damage claim was put to the test. The Ford Explorer was an easy push for the push bumper. Even around corners, it kept control, kept the truck moving, and left no scratches, dents or dings. The push bumper is even strong enough to shove a car flipped on its top off of I-40.

Most people are used to seeing the Incident Management trucks basically standing guard over the wreck scene. Now, the trucks can get involved in clearing the wreckage and hopefully get traffic moving.

Police want drivers to clear the wreckage as soon as possible to keep traffic flowing. Now if you can't do it on your own, the DOT will do it for you. The N.C. Highway Patrol is experimenting with a push bumper design, but no final decision has been made.