Tow truck driver warns of winter weather road hazards

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 11:00 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - An Eastern Iowa tow truck driver said people needed to follow the “Move Over, Slow Down” law as winter weather continued to hit much of the area.

Many drivers tried to make their trips home ahead of the storm Wednesday, like Mustafa Joseph of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

“The earlier the better,” he said.

Joseph drives a semi. He started his trip home an hour early but said he worried about some of the smaller roads.

“My biggest concern is Highway 63,” he said. “It’s a small road that’s a one-lane road.”

Keegan Wright, the Operations Manager at ATS Automotive Towing said as of 4 PM Wednesday they had received over 100 calls for service. Wright said many of those calls were for people who didn’t prepare properly: not having enough fuel, not charging their electronics, and not keeping up with vehicle maintenance.

“The temperature is dropping, and we could end up with pile-ups with really bad accidents,” said Wright. “There’s a lot of semis that are trying to get home for the holidays. There’s a lot of people that are still trying to move about.”

The “Slow Down. Move Over” law requires people to either slow their speeds when they are seeing flashing lights or move to another lane. He said when storms like this happen, it increases the dangers he and other tow truckers face while working to dislodge cars and help first responders.

“I’ve had people tear the hood off of my sweatshirt before,” said Wright. “It has been close close.”

The driving hazards are expected to continue for the next couple of days. Wright said it was best for people to stay home if possible but drive with a plan if they do need to be on the roads.

“Hopefully, I can drive slowly until I reach where I need to go,” said Joseph.