Garbage truck accidents are not as common as other types of truck accidents and rarely make the news, but these accidents can be just as devastating as other types of vehicle accidents. Each year, people are killed and seriously injured by garbage trucks. Very often, accidents involving garbage trucks involve pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents. These accidents are often caused by a number of factors:
1) Poor visibility. Garbage trucks are large and have poor lines of sight. Like larger commercial trucks, they have many blind spots. As well, as the day progresses, garbage trucks often get dirty. This can obscure reflectors and lights. It can also cause mirrors to become smudged or dirty and therefore less useful.
2) Tired drivers. Garbage trucks are usually making the rounds very early. Garbage truck drivers wake very early and often work long shifts, which can contribute to fatigue. When this is combined with driver distraction (caused by cell phones or texting) the risk of an accident is even higher.
3) Backing up. Garbage trucks must back up frequently and suddenly to pick up garbage. This can lead to pedestrian accidents if garbage trucks run over a person or child on the sidewalk.
4) Unusual driving patterns. Garbage trucks must often drive in unusual patterns in order to pick up garbage. They may need to drive down alleys or drive the wrong way down some streets. In many cases, garbage trucks drive where no trucks usually drive, so that other drivers (as well as pedestrians and bicyclists) may simply not be looking for a truck or anticipating such as driving obstruction.
5) Negligence. Drivers of garbage trucks are expected to use caution when driving their vehicles. Municipalities are responsible for maintaining garbage trucks in good repair and for carefully hiring and training qualified drivers when negligence causes an accident, a good Florida personal attorney can often ensure that victims are given the full protection of the law. As well, good attorneys can work to ensure that others are not victimized by negligence.