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Tow-trucker's K-word assault: How to deal with tow-truck drivers in SA

2016-08-30 11:14

DEALING WITH TOW TRUCKERS: A Free State woman was allegedly assaulted by a tow-truck driver. We list tips on how to deal with tow-truck operators. Image: iStock


Another dash-cam gem from Russia - a tow truck drops a car in the middle of a road... and continues on its merry way.

Cape Town - Earlier in August News24 reported on a Free State paramedic who was assaulted by a tow truck driver when she responded to an emergency call.

Yvonne Peter (40), said the driver allegedly raced with her on-route to the accident scene. She said the driver accused her of pushing him off the road.

Peters said: "When we arrived on scene, the driver approached me and told me that I almost killed them and that he would deal with me.

"He said just because I was driving an ambulance, I shouldn't think I am better than anyone else. He came back and beat me up.

"A woman who was also with the driver pulled off my weave and called me a k*ffir."

Read Peter's full story here on News24.

Do you have any advice for dealing with tow-truck operators? Do you have any experiences (good or bad) regarding tow-truck drivers in SA? Email us your thoughts.

12 tips for dealing with tow truckers

Not all tow-truck drivers are unruly, but it is important for motorists to know how to handle operators at a crash scene.

1 Only use the services of the first SATRA or UTASA member to arrive at the scene of an accident. You have the right to choose to use a SATRA or UTASA member, who is bound by a contractually enforceable code of conduct, and protects you, the consumer, from being charged above market related rates. 

2 If your vehicle is insured, contact your insurer or broker and ask for information on the procedure to follow – have this information available in your vehicle at all times. 

Yvonne Peters from her hospital bed. Image: News24 / Jeanette Chabalala

3 If you have insurance cover that includes towing charges, call the emergency towing assistance number (usually on a sticker provided by the insurance company). 

4 The roadside assistance services provided by automakers and cellular service providers have additional costs associated. If you purchase a new car or cell phone contract and roadside assistance forms part of the deal, make sure you are not paying extra for it if you already have this service. 

WATCH: You're not towing my car! Driver vs tow truck

5 If you make use of a roadside assistance product, make sure you know your rights: in almost all cases you or your insurer will be liable to pay the costs of towing an accident-damaged vehicle. 

6 Make sure that the damaged vehicle is delivered to a repairer approved by your insurer or, if you are not insured, make sure to collect your vehicle as soon as possible to prevent the accrual of storage charges. 

7 When dealing with recovery companies, always establish the amount to be charged for all aspects including towing, salvage and storage fees.  

8 Get as much information about the tow operator as possible before you agree to the recovery - name of company, driver, and registration of tow truck, physical address and phone number (preferably not a cell phone). 

9 Always agree on towing charges before your vehicle is towed or you might be in for an unpleasant surprise. 

READ: Oh no, you don't! Crazy driver reverses off tow truck

10 Do not sign anything unless you have read through all documentation first. If the tow operator insists, make sure that it is ONLY an authorization to tow the vehicle. 

11 Remove all valuables from the vehicle before it is towed away for repairs.

12 If you are an Automobile Association member, contact the AA to arrange the tow. The AA uses only certain towing companies that comply with a code of conduct and service levels. You also have recourse if something goes wrong.

Read more on:    arrive alive  |  cape town  |  towing a car  |  accident

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