They are a common sight in every town, city and on the highways. Without them we would be buried in our own trash. Garbage trucks, or waste disposal vehicles are everywhere. Unfortunately, garbage truck accidents are commonplace.
There are two basic types of waste disposal vehicles; collection trucks and hauling trucks:
Collection trucks are seen moving from house to house along the street, picking up cans with automated lifts or manually by workers who ride on the rear and empty the cans by hand into a hydraulic compactor on the rear. These trucks also empty the dumpsters of businesses and housing complexes by lifting them overhead and emptying them. They are classified as front loaders, side loader and rear loaders.
The garbage haulers appear like a combination of trailer and dump truck, moving down the highways, taking the discarded materials of the masses away from the populated areas to remote landfills and incinerators.
Garbage trucks seem to be everywhere all the time. A day hardly passes without seeing one. Unfortunately garbage trucks are involved in a great many accidents, many of which result in injury and even death. Studies have shown that garbage trucks pose a greater danger to pedestrians and bicyclists than any other vehicle on the road. This is due to the fact that they operate on narrow streets in high population areas, make sudden and unpredictable moves, and have multiple large blind spots.
The most frequent causes of traffic related garbage truck accidents are:
- Driver negligence – On highways, drivers may be fatigued, impaired, inattentive due to preoccupation, speeding or distracted. On local streets, drivers may neglect to signal, back up without adequate warning, speed, drive on the wrong side of the road, pull out from a blind driveway or fail to brake for traffic.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance – Routine maintenance is important for the safe operation for any large vehicle including garbage trucks. Some garbage trucks are maintained by private companies while some are left to the driver to maintain. It is always someone’s responsibility that the truck be kept in good, safe condition and all hydraulic systems are operating properly
- Falling Debris and Equipment – Large trucks hauling trash to landfills can scatter debris at high speeds if the truck is over filled or the load is not secured properly. These missiles can cause serious accidents when encountered at high speeds. This also includes tools that were not secured properly.
- Negligence of other drivers – Garbage trucks may move at a slow pace while collecting on town and city streets, blocking one lane entirely. Frustrated and impatient driver may try to pass unsafely, not seeing a collector crossing the street or another car coming in the opposite direction.
- Failure to see pedestrians, bike riders and other non-vehicles – Most garbage trucks have poor peripheral visibility and the drivers may not see people near or behind them. Children are especially at risk It is important to keep children away from any public worker on the job but especially garbage trucks.
Garbage collection is a necessary part of healthy living and it would not be a pleasant place to live without it. However despite increased safety measures such as back up warnings and cameras, automatic lift systems and safety training, accidents still occur with frequency.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, it is important that you seek the help of a truck accident attorney. Garbage trucks may be owned and operated by a private contractor or by a county, city or borough. The driver may be an independent contractor or an employee. Sorting out the fact and implications in a garbage truck accident can be challenging. That is why the skill of a truck accident attorney is paramount to a successful case.
Dolman Law Group has successfully represented countless victims of truck accident including those involving garbage truck. If you or a loved one have been injured reach out to a truck accident at Dolman Law Group by calling 727-451-6900 or visit our website and fill out the simple online form. There is no cost or obligation.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765