COLORADO SPRINGS – Drivers heeded the warnings to stay off the roads amid Tuesday’s overnight blizzard, based on the smaller-than-expected number of tow requests, according to Walt’s Towing in Colorado Springs. “I think a lot of people just decided to stay home,” said owner Ted Swanson.
Still, it was a busy day for Walt’s driver David Dew. “A lot of tire changes, a lot of people thinking their tires are better than they really are, sliding through intersections,” Dew said. In fact, Swanson said none of the tow requests they had received by Tuesday evening were for rollover crashes. “Very surprising,” Swanson said. “Most of them have just been people that have curbed their car and bent their rims, and we either change their tire or tow the car to a tire store.”
Swanson expected volume to pick up again Wednesday morning once cars head out onto black ice caused by the overnight refreeze. “The snow melts during the day, turns to ice at night, and a lot of people, they think the road is safe and it’s really black ice,” Swanson said.
The staff at Walt’s wants all drivers to remember Colorado’s move-over law, requiring drivers to move over at least one lane or slow by 20 miles per hour when passing stopped emergency vehicles with flashing lights, including tow trucks. “Drivers see the lights of an officer and they start sliding, or they don’t heed the warnings and drive closely,” Swanson said. “They’re supposed to change lanes, and they don’t do that.”
Danger is an inherent risk for any tow operator. Dew says the danger can be hard on families, knowing the potential deadly consequences of an inattentive passing driver. “The hardest part of this job is knowing whether or not I’m going to go home at night because of someone texting, someone not paying attention,” Dew said.