With the increased focus on safety within the trucking industry, accidents still occur, even if the truck driver isn’t at fault. However, there has been a rise in predatory towing that not only impacts truck drivers, but the trucking industry at large, which could end up raising the prices for everyone at the consumer level.
Towing is supposed to be reliable and safe
The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) has stated in the past that accidents involving trucks can be reduced, but they will still happen. Towing companies need to clear the scene safely and professionally. For the most part, that’s how it works. Yet there has been an increase in how some towing companies approach accidents involving trucks.
Predatory towing is costly
The issue of predatory towing first came to light in Missouri, but incidents have been popping up all over the United States. Towing companies move in on an accident tow the truck without consent, and that’s only the beginning. Bills issued by predatory towing companies are artificially inflated, with some truckers being charged for equipment that was never at the scene of an accident. The costs can be anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars.
Regulations against predatory towing
OOIDA is taking steps to curb predatory towing practices by endorsing legislation that would regulate commercial towing and impose penalties for towing companies that break the rules. As things stand right now, predatory towing, and the resulting inflated bills, can greatly increase insurance premiums for owner-operators and larger carriers. The end result is that the trucking industry may have to increase their rates to shippers, which could ultimately impacts prices consumers pay for goods.
Missouri still has yet to reach a decision on legislation against predatory towing, but truckers should be made aware of such practices, and to report any incidents where things simply “don’t seem quite right,” or where inaccurate or inflated towing bills are issued after an accident.
Express Freight Finance will be following this issue, and will report on any legislative decisions or further incidents throughout the country.