Junk Cars BLOG
Why DIY Towing Is Dangerous

It can be tempting to help a friend or family member get their disabled vehicle home by simply towing it yourself, especially if it’s a short distance to their home or repair facility.  The problem is, that towing vehicles yourself is much more dangerous than it was 30 years ago.  While the main reason is because cars are made vastly different than previous decades, it also has to do with basic road safety and weather conditions.  There has been a huge emphasis in towing safely in recent times and for good reason.

Cars are made so differently today between every brand with all of their features and technology.  Some cars must be towed with all four wheels OFF of the ground.  Some can be towed on front wheels only while some have to be towed on the back wheels.  Even rare are the select group that can be towed with all four tires directly on the ground.  Towing a vehicle AGAINST how the manufacturer has engineered the car to be towed safely can result in significant mechanical damage.  You could burn the transmission or transaxle up and find yourself with an enormous repair bill.  It’s best to read the owner’s manual to understand how your particular vehicle is to be towed and hire a professional with the correct equipment to carry out the tow to exact specifications safely.

Road safety is critical in towing – every step should be taken to keep everyone intact.  DIY towing poses incredible risks on our roadways.  First of all, you do NOT have the proper lights and flashers that alert other drivers that the vehicle is disabled, there is an increased chance of a rear-end accident occurring.  Also, the brakes on a disabled car are crippled so a DIY tower that stops suddenly will find that vehicle slamming into them.  Most steering nowadays is power-assisted or equipped with steering wheel locks.  You’ll find it extremely difficult to steer the disabled car.  All of these situations are dangerous for other drivers on the roads whom are not aware that the vehicle behind you is being towed or disabled.  Accidents and substantial vehicle and property damage can occur in such circumstances.  Putting the lives of other drivers at risk simply isn’t worth saving a few bucks on a tow.

Another point to consider is weather conditions.  Snow storms, hail, sleet and rain can take a situation from normal to deadly in seconds flat.  Slick conditions can cause cars to slide or become uncontrollable.  The last thing you need is a 3 ton vehicle sailing across the interstate like a missle.  Reaction times play out differently in extreme weather, so while you may be able to stop suddenly in the summer, that same maneuver is significantly stretched out when it’s raining or snowing and may not allow the correct time nor distance to stop safely.  Again, this could cause physical harm to other drivers and damage to vehicles and property.

While DIY towers certainly don’t have the proper equipment for a safe tow, they also don’t possess the correct experience and knowledge.  The industry is evolving as technology advances and vehicles are made more complicated.  Professional tow truck drivers are trained to handle all vehicle types and all roadway conditions to deliver your vehicle where it needs to go without increasing the damage or putting other drivers in danger.  Their safety training also extends to all types of weather situations.

DIY towers, or good Samaritans, could start off doing a good deed only for it to backfire due to lack of proper equipment and experience.  For instance, in the early 1980’s, a helpful passersby was attempting to tow another driver out of a snow bank in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The chain he attached to the other vehicle broke loose and flew into the cab of his truck, striking him in the back of the head and killing him.

Overall, having a DIY tow from a friend or relative is NOT the best route to go to keep your vehicle from suffering further damage or keeping those that share the road with you safe and sound.  Play it safe and call a professional when you need your vehicle towed.


Let the Z.A.T. Cash For Junk Cars professionals handle all of your towing needs by calling 773.908.2622 today!

Related Posts

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.