Tow Truck Accidents


We expect tow trucks to provide relief after an accident or when a vehicle breaks down, but these types of trucks can also be the cause of an accident.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation (AZDOT), more than 53,0404 truck collisions were reported in 2019 which resulted in more than 348 fatalities. Furthermore, the AZDOT notes that 98 collisions involved a tow truck specifically.

The most common types of tow trucks are:

  • Hook/Chain: Chains are hooked around the vehicle frame or axle and the vehicle is drawn up by a hydraulic pulley to rest against the truck, the vehicle is towed using the other axle.
  • Wheel-Lift: The vehicle is pulled onto the tow in a similar fashion to that of a hook/chain tow truck, however a metal apparatus is situated under the front or rear wheels to cradle them thus preventing the bumper from getting scratched while being towed.
  • Flatbed: A hydraulically inclined tow truck bed along with a hydraulic pulley is used to pull the vehicle on the back of the truck and thus securing it on the flatbed
  • Integrated: These lighter duty trucks are often used to repossesses vehicles or move illegally parked cars. These types of trucks integrate a wheel-lift and hydraulic pulley, and oftentimes the controls are inside the cab of the truck.


In Arizona, one of the leading causes of all accidents is failure to yield right of way which may occur with a tow truck. Tow trucks are often on the shoulder of the road and must be very careful when attempting to get back onto the roadway with a vehicle in tow.

Common causes of tow truck accidents include:

  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Failure to Check Blind Spot
  • Misjudgment of Distance to Other Vehicles
  • Backing up Improperly
  • Incorrect Turn
  • Defective Equipment
  • Inexperienced Drivers
  • Cargo is not Secured Properly
  • Fatigued Driving

Many tow truck services are available 24/7, which could lead to fatigued drivers and some who may be under the influence while operating their truck.


Like that of a large truck, the type of accidents a tow truck can be involved in is similar due to its weight and size. The different types of equipment on a tow truck can also affect what type of accident could occur.

Common types of tow truck accidents include:

  • Rear-end collisions
  • Sideswipes
  • Blind spot crashes
  • Rollovers

Tow trucks can also experience an incident like a runaway trailer. If the vehicle being towed is not properly hooked up, it may disconnect and hit other vehicles on the roadway. Motorists should allow additional room between themselves and a tow truck in case a loss of cargo occurs.


Oftentimes, tow trucks are thought to be a vehicle that provides help, but one simple mistake could lead to a tow truck accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a tow truck accident, the victim may be entitled to compensation for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and more.

Please contact us today for a free consultation at (602) 495-1005 or fill out our contact form and our staff will be in touch with you shortly.