Garbage trucks are huge vehicles that travel along the streets of any given city, picking up trash from commercial residences and businesses. The risk of being in an accident with a garbage truck is high since most trucks are allowed special privileges that the average driver is not.
While typically drivers are allowed to drive on just one side of the street, garbage trucks can drive on both sides of the street. This can be the basis of why garbage trucks are typically involved in accidents that prove to be deadly.
For example, if a garbage truck is picking up trash in a residential area during the summer when children are playing, the chance of a child running out in the middle of the street for a ball or playing in the street is high. Garbage truck drivers need to be particularly aware of this, but sometimes they are not. Other things drivers need to be aware are garbage falling off the truck and faulty wheels/brakes.
Another high-risk area of garbage truck accidents is with cyclists. Because garbage trucks usually make wide and unexpected turns, they need to pay attention to cyclists who sometimes like to weave in and around cars.
Drivers sometimes cannot see everyone that is behind them or those that speed up next to the truck at the last minute. For drivers and cyclists on the road, it is important to remember this: if you can’t see the garbage truck mirrors, then the garbage truck driver cannot see you.
Garbage truck drivers need to take some extra precautions when driving. They are supposed to drive slowly and be aware of everything and everyone around them. Because they are operating such a huge vehicle, doing such things as running red lights, making sudden turns and stops, talking or texting on a cell phone just raises the possibility of hitting a pedestrian, driver, or cyclist.
The injuries sustained by being in an accident with a garbage truck are catastrophic; people have suffered broken spines, loss of arms and legs, paralysis, head trauma, and third-degree burns.