Get Noticed with the Right Emergency & Roadside Lights

Published By Justin Tomney, 7 Nov 2017

There are a number of vehicles on the road that are required or allowed to have additional lighting. Of course, every car and truck must have the standard lights, which are headlamps, auxillary lights, cornering lamps, turn signals, hazard lights, and taillights. However, take a look at a properly lighted construction or utility truck and it is easy to notice that these vehicles have a lot more lighting. Also, there are Emergency Vehicle Lights on every EMT and rapid response van on the road.

The reasons for these additional lights are varied, although usually straightforward. If you have any type of emergency vehicle, tow truck, or roadside construction vehicle, you want to consider how additional lighting may help do your job and keep others safe.

Clear the Traffic as You Drive
Vehicles with a flashing or blinking light on their grill or roof are going to attract the attention of other drivers. This is ideal for safety purposes, but it can also help you clear the road in case of emergency. Drivers are more likely to move over or get out of the way when you have additional lighting on your truck or van. This helps you arrive at your destination sooner and complete jobs more efficiently, which is not a bad outcome from simply adding extra lights to your company vehicle.

However, when looking into additional lights, keep in mind that state and federal law restricts where you place these lights and when they can be turned on. Also, certain state laws set specific restrictions on the color of lights.

Tow trucks can act as emergency vehicles in addition to ambulances and police cruisers. When there is an accident on a highway or busy roadway, it is imperative to quickly assess and clear the scene. Part of this removal is towing any vehicles involved in the crash. Clearing the crash site requires a tow truck to reach an accident scene quickly and efficiently. To this end, certain states allow tow companies to place emergency vehicle lights on their trucks to use in the right instance.

Other states require that tow trucks only utilize red or blue lighting when stopped. In this capacity, emergency vehicle lights, or similar combinations of colors, aren’t used to clear the road, but for safety purposes, which leads to the second reason certain vehicles need additional lighting.

Keep Your Roadside Employees Safe
Another huge benefit of additional lights on the front, side, or back of your truck is added safety for your employees. It can be dangerous for a tow truck, emergency vehicle, construction van, or utility company vehicle to stop on the side of a busy road. There are too many drivers that don’t pay adequate attention when operating their vehicle. A flashing or bright light can better direct attention to your business’s truck and warn drivers that it has stopped or is moving slowly.

Signs and other indicators of roadside construction can be helpful, and even setting up cones is a great way to ensure your employees stay safe on the job. However, statistics indicate that lights are the best way to direct other drivers away from your workers. The last thing a towing, construction, or utility company wants to deal with is work-related injuries because warnings of the vehicle’s presence weren’t adequate.

Indicate the Size of Your Truck
Another important purpose of additional lighting is to indicate to other drivers the size of your vehicle. Often, work vehicles are larger than other automobiles on the road, both in terms of length and width. If your truck is bigger than other cars, trucks, and SUVs, you need to let other drivers know. In fact, this might be required by state law.

Also, tow trucks can use lighting to indicate that there is a car attached to the back of the truck. This gives drivers an additional warning that right turns might be wider and stopping more difficult.

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