Beyond Visibility: TowMate’s High-Tech Answer to Roadside Hazards

Beyond Visibility: TowMate’s High-Tech Answer to Roadside Hazards

By: Chris Anderson

In the still of the night, when shadows blend into the asphalt and danger lurks with every passing vehicle, the safety of roadside workers hangs precariously in the balance. It’s not just roadside workers, but the safety of everyone on the road. The towing industry is one that is unique when it comes to these challenges. Operators work near fast-moving traffic, often in poor lighting conditions, making them particularly vulnerable. With that in mind, TowMate has dedicated a significant portion of its research and development efforts to crafting safety solutions that address these challenges head-on. Among their pioneering advancements, the Lifesaver cone-mounted warning light system and the creative use of non-visible light technology are the latest benchmarks in roadside safety technology.

Shadowed Highways

One cannot overstate the hazards faced by tow truck operators and other roadside workers at night. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), tow truck drivers are over 15 times more likely to be killed on the job than other private industry workers. This jaw-dropping statistic brings to light the immediate need for improved safety measures. The lack of visibility on the roadside is one of the primary culprits in most of these incidents. Traditional reflective vests and vehicle-mounted warning lights have been the standard, but as technology evolves, so too do the methods of enhancing worker visibility.

TowMate’s Commitment to Safety

In the past several years, TowMate, a leader in wireless tow lights and roadside safety solutions based in Rogers, Arkansas, has been at the forefront of creating additional layers of safety on the roadside, day or night, and truly, the proof is in the pudding. The introduction of the Lifesaver cone-mounted warning light system has been a testament to this innovative spirit. This system, which flashes red and blue lights with the ability to flash amber and white lights, offers the benefits of emergency vehicle lighting to tow truck operators, without violating federal regulations that restrict the use of such colors when in motion or mounted on vehicles. Since it is used in a stationary position, the Lifesaver can change the landscape in terms of roadside safety and is a real game changer when it comes to ‘work-zone awareness’ and the safety of workers within them.

The Evolution to Non-Visible Light

More recently, TowMate has spearheaded the development of the patented HINVII (High-Intensity Non-Visible Intelligent Illumination) technology with its inclusion in their SS470UVA light head and TM-LS-UVA portable cone-mounted warning light system (part of the expanding Lifesaver line of products). This new and breakthrough approach uses non-visible UV light to illuminate safety vests and select roadside markers. In turn, this creates a distinct presence that is highly visible to passing motorists but is largely invisible to the workers themselves which, in turn, prevents any distraction or impairment of night vision.

This is the true genius of the TM-LS-UVA and SS470UVA. The ability to use UV light to make safety vests glow intensely provides a level of visibility that is both unparalleled and non-distracting. This method addresses a critical challenge in roadside safety: how to make workers highly visible without impairing their ability to see or distract them with intense visible light. These two items highlight TowMate’s commitment to leveraging technology for safety.

TowMate’s Impact on Roadside Safety

There is a profound potential reach of this technology to create safer workspaces the world over. TowMate’s latest products not only create greater visibility of roadside workers but also pave the way for new safety standards across industries. The SS470UVA and TM-LS-UVA set a precedent for the use of non-visible light as a viable and effective means of ensuring worker safety in low-light conditions.

Wireless Tow Light Advancements: The TM22XR

It should come as no surprise that TowMate has been working on advancing other sides of its business in addition to the non-visible safety lighting products. Take, for instance, their release of the TM22XR series of wireless tow lights. These represent the economical way to get the benefits of lithium-powered wireless tow lights (i.e. lighter weight, 60+ hours of use on a charge, ‘up to 10 years’ of life out of the lithium battery) without breaking the bank. Further, TowMate underscores the fact that their product always holds value in their development of an upgrade module that will be plug-and-play with all older model TM22’s and bring all the benefits of the XR series with it.

TowMate’s Role in Shaping the Future of Roadside Safety

TowMate’s latest releases, from the Lifesaver system to the groundbreaking TM-LS-UVA and SS470UVA to the XR series wireless tow lights, highlight the company as a key player in the evolution of roadside safety technology. Not to be dismissed, the adoption of these technologies has the potential to dramatically reduce the number of accidents and fatalities among roadside workers. As awareness of these solutions grows, and as they become more widely adopted, the hope is that we begin to see the statistics change and the number of casualties decline.

In Summary

In closing, it is forward-thinking approaches like that of TowMate that will hopefully, in time, begin to lower the harm done on our roadsides. However, developing the products is just one part of the equation. To truly make the impact that all signs point towards being possible, these solutions must be adopted. Again, there is no ‘end-all’ that will bring risk down to zero. However, with each additional layer of safety put in place, the risks begin to be mitigated to a more palatable level and the likelihood of returning home at the end of the day, every day, goes up.