Many people do not know that tow trucks have more lights than other vehicles as they contain warning and stock lights.
Why Do Tow Trucks Have Flashing Lights? Tow trucks have flashing lights to improve visibility when the roads are not smooth and have uneven spots. Moreover, the truck driver uses these flashing lights to communicate with other drivers for different purposes. In addition, it helps improve roadside safety and can be a way of showing anger or appreciation for restricting or giving a passage. Furthermore, it can be a signal to move over when there is a proper distance between the truck and the motorist to ensure safety.
These vehicles help you load and drag the junk or damaged cars to move them to a safe place.
- 1 What are tow trucks?
- 2 What does it mean when a tow truck flashes a light at you?
- 3 What type of flashing lights are present on tow trucks?
- 4 Is it legal for a tow truck to have flashing lights?
- 5 Can tow trucks have red lights?
What are tow trucks?
These trucks are used mainly for towing purpose that helps move the damaged vehicle from a road to the mechanic shop.
They are of four types, like a flatbed vehicle that can carry a damaged car on its bed. It can roll the bed down on the ground, which allows you to load the vehicle on the bed.
However, the winches and chains drag it on the bed when it cannot be driven. The hook and chain trucks can pull the junk vehicles with a heavy-duty hook.
It allows damaged cars to suspend in the air by keeping one side on the ground. However, the integrated tow truck lifts the wheel of the towed vehicle upwards, which can stress it.
So, these have an extra axle that can help withstand pressure and makes them strong and stable.
Furthermore, the wheel lift tow trucks can drag the vehicle by getting a solid grip with the help of hooks and chains.
What does it mean when a tow truck flashes a light at you?
The presence of flashing lights on the trucks allows them to flash for different purposes, like when they want to communicate with other vehicles on the road.
Engage in communication
Driving large automobiles requires focus and attention on the steering wheel to ensure their safety and the security of other vehicles sharing a common road.
They cannot open the doors and windows to communicate while driving as it can cause an accident. So, these lights allow them to be engaged in communication without posing any risk.
You have to understand the meaning and purpose of flashing to decode the information that a driver wants to transfer to you.
The number of flashes can also help you determine their purpose, as two flashes warn you about changing speed when a vehicle comes from an opposite or back side.
The number of flashes varies depending on the type of message that a driver wants to convey.
When you see a single flash, it shows that a tow vehicle is coming from the opposite side of the intersection. However, two flashes indicate that it is asking you for having to check your speed.
While three flashes mean, there is a danger on your way, like a damaged road, and help you protect from the damage.
In addition, four and five flashes mean that driver is allowing you to move over and informing you that you are driving illegally.
Show the anger
The driver flashes light towards you to show their anger sometimes. It can be because you are blocking the route and wasting his time.
These drivers have a short temper and react suddenly in unfavorable situations because of disturbed sleep patterns.
It is better to give them away on the road and allow them to move away. So, you have to understand that the driver can be angry at you when he is flashing light at you.
Warning for slowing speed
A tow truck with flashing lights can use them to give you a warning for a slow speed to the motorists. It can help protect from the dangers of hitting badly or the vehicle present on its backend.
It indicates that you have to proceed with a lot of caution as there is a risk of bumping into the truck, which could cause a lot of damage.
Moreover, it can be a signal to inform you about the possible dangers on the road, like the presence of an animal and working crew on the road.
Probably, it is telling you about the possibility of accidents when you are heading towards a risky or damaged road.
Signal to move over
When you see a towing truck moving from the back side and flashing a light on you for more than a single time, the driver asks you to move over.
Moreover, he is trying to seek your attention by conveying a message. It can be a signal from impatient drivers to break the speed limits and cross them quickly.
You will probably see flashing lights when there is enough distance between your vehicle and the truck.
It means the driver wants to say that it is safe to cross over and move speedily in front of the vehicle.
Improve roadside safety
The flashing of lights increases the visibility of the road as you can see all the ups and downs of the road clearly, which adds to the safety.
It clears the view of the road and allows nearby vehicles to look at the damaged car towed on the back end.
It will improve roadside safety and protect you from severe rashes that can pose your life at risk.
These allow you to look at the bridge piers, noise barriers, and tunnel portals in your way by throwing light rays on the road.
Way of appreciation
The drivers cannot stop saying thanks for giving them a way to cross the busy road. So, they flash lights toward you to say thanks for a favor.
It is difficult to share a road with heavy vehicles that can make you move down the road or crush a car into pieces.
Moreover, you have to move carefully when a towing truck carrying a heavy load is moving by your side. Therefore, it is better to give them a passage to cross.
Surely, they will pay gratitude for such kindness by flashing their lights toward you. So, you can consider this act as a way of appreciation from a driver.
What type of flashing lights are present on tow trucks?
Most commonly, LED lights of amber color are present on the tow trucks that help inform other motorists about the possible danger.
Moreover, high-intensity white lights are also used to keep the nearby vehicle aware of their presence. These are mounted on the roof as a long bar.
These vehicles are equipped with red and blue color lights that are switched on to illuminate the dark spots on the road.
In addition to stock lights like headlights, taillight, and backup lights, these warning lights are also essential to warn other drivers about your presence and the risk associated with your presence on the road.
There are different rules and regulations about the color of warning lights, but the amber color is preferred in Ohio, California, and Florida.
In addition, some states demand rotating lights of amber color or a combination of multiple colors. Therefore, it is better to check the state legislation before installing warning lights on your vehicle.
Is it legal for a tow truck to have flashing lights?
It is legal to use flashing lights on a tow truck because it is essential to warn other drivers and ensure their safety while driving on a busy road.
Two regulatory authorities are controlling these issues, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and specify all the measures to reduce the onset of accidents and injuries.
A specific code is designed for these vehicles to have a particular number of flashing lights and of a specific color to minimize the ratio of accidents by illuminating the roads.
Their proper use helps motorists to see their presence on roads and keep themselves at a distance.
In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) deals with all the regulations about flashing lights and their use on trucks.
It focuses on the measures to reduce crashes and related fatalities.
So, both regulatory authorities are working to ensure the safety of drivers in the US and allow them to flash lights when necessary.
Can tow trucks have red lights?
Many drivers are confused about using the red and blue color flashing lights because they resemble those present on emergency vehicles like police cars and ambulances.
They can use red and blue lights, but it is better to use them only in emergencies. It can confuse other drivers as they think it is from law enforcement.
Moreover, these colors help them clear the road within no time, and they can get the passage on the road.
They are allowed to turn them on when standing close to a damaged road or an auto accident to inform the passing automobiles about the danger.
Furthermore, these red lights make them visible from a distance of almost 400 to 500 feet when the weather is clear.
In addition, they are not allowed to use them during normal operations or when you are going to the emergency spot.
They are only permitted by US laws and regulations to flash red lights when they are present at the emergency site because they are only considered emergency vehicles on this spot.