Collecting trash and recycling is necessary for a clean and healthy society, but this does not come without a unique set of risks. There are a few common causes for accidents involving a garbage truck and these include inclement weather, frequent stopping, route locations, inspection and maintenance, and driver negligence. Common victims include the trash collection workers themselves, other drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
What To Do If You Are Involved in an Accident with a Garbage Truck
Firstly, seek medical attention. Not all injuries are immediately evident so a thorough examination is required. Make an official report to the police or, if you are a trash collector, report to your employer. Take down all the contact details of witnesses and first responders including the names and badge numbers of police officers. Take photographs of the accident scene, the vehicles involved, the surrounding area and any physical injuries. Contact your insurance company and then find experienced lawyers for garbage truck accidents to assist you with your claim.
Why Are Garbage Truck Accidents Common?
The sheer size, weight, and shape of the vehicles used make them a dangerous part of our daily lives. They carry large loads and have high cab areas for the driver, making visibility close to the ground difficult. Children and low-lying property often fall victim as the trucks have large blind spot areas. Garbage trucks are often out very early in the mornings while it is still dark, reducing visibility. Trash collection is expected to take place come rain or shine so this also reduces visibility. Trees and other hazardous materials are often blown into the streets and rain, snow, sleet and hail create slippery road conditions.
By nature of the job, the garbage truck stops and starts frequently and this often results in rear-end collisions when other drivers are not expecting the truck to stop. It also wears out the braking systems. For this reason, routine inspection and maintenance is essential, but not always done satisfactorily. In some cities and states, garbage trucks are permitted to ignore many common road rules. They are sometimes allowed to drive the wrong way in a one-way street, drive or stop in the bike lane, drive on the wrong side of the street, and straddle the central meridian. This catches other drivers and road users off guard and accidents can result.
More Reasons for Garbage Truck Accidents
Garbage truck drivers are expected to navigate narrow streets with large blind spots on their vehicles. Areas of a collection route often include residential and commercial areas, shopping centers and malls. Falling debris, defective equipment, inattentive driving and driver negligence are other causes for accidents involving these monstrous trucks.
It is important to keep all expense and medical records so that your legal representation team can make claims on your behalf with regards to the recovery of lost wages, pain and suffering, wrongful death, and other damages. Garbage truck accidents are more common than you may imagine and you must keep your wits about you should you be involved in such an accident.