Garbage trucks weighing 50,000+ pounds are one of the leading cause of New York vehicles involved in crashes that result in serious injury and death. They are very dangerous because of:
- Blind spots.
- Backing. Trash containers are placed in locations that require backing where there are pedestrians and unexpected vehicle movement.
- Complexity. Most trucks have complex trash collection operations and are equipped with up to four cameras and six mirrors the operator must monitor.
- One-person operations. One operator is expected to drive; load the trash; and keep a lookout for other cars and pedestrians in addition to many other tasks which results in the ultimate “distracted driving” situation.
- Long routes. Routes may take up to 12-14 hours to complete.
- Inexperienced drivers. Sanitation work is one of the top five most dangerous occupations, so qualified professional drivers are difficult to hire for many companies (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics December 18, 2018).
Garbage Trucks Follow Different Rules than Most Commercial Trucks:
- Garbage trucks kill more pedestrians and cyclists per 100 million miles driven than any other vehicle on the road.
- The waste management industry recently received exemptions for thousands of truck drivers from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for hours of service rules (Docket NO. FMCSA 2018-0181).
- The federal government does not require underride guards on garbage trucks, which continue to injure and kill many people when cars travel under the rear or side of the truck.
- Trash trucks are not required to use safety features such as reflective tape, flashing lights and other federal requirements which most commercial trucks are required to have.
If you contact Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC about an injury or death involving a garbage truck, we will investigate all aspects of the crash, including:
- Was the truck being driven and operated by one person?
- Was the location of the accident in a residential area or on a congested roadway?
- Did the crash involve an underride?
- How long had the driver been working?
- Was the crash in the danger zone or blind spot of the trash truck?
- Did the crash involve a conspicuity danger that reflective tape or flashing lights could have prevented?
Call us at 716.542.5444 if you or a family member has been injured by a garbage truck.