According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an 34,439 people were killed in auto collisions in 2016. In the same year, roughly 2.17 million people were injured in collisions and more than 5 million accidents resulted in vehicle damage only. The lawyers of Chanfrau & Chanfrau know that car accidents can happen for a vareity of reasons and involve different motor vehicles.
Garbage trucks and sanitation vehicles are automobiles we often neglect to consider in collisions, yet they pose a number of dangers. Our Daytona Beach, FL auto accident lawyers would like to go over some of the basics of garbage truck accidents and how we can help with lawsuits.
The Dangers of Garbage Truck Collisions
Garbage trucks are massive vehicles simply given the realities of sanitation work and what the trucks are designed to do. Whenever that much sheer mass is traveling down the road, it is bound to generate a great deal of force on impact.
When a garbage truck strikes another vehicle, even low-speed collisions can lead to severe damage and even catastrophic injuries. Since these vehicles are located on city streets and suburban streets, there are also serious hazards for pedestrians, bicyclists, and children.
Major Blind Spots on Garbage Trucks
Given the size of sanitation vehicles, there are major blind spots for drivers operating garbage trucks. Even when checking mirrors, there could be a car, motorcycle, bike, or person that the driver cannot see. Sanitation workers must be extremely attentive and vigilant when they are operating these vehicles.
Dangers on Narrow Roads
When collecting trash, recyclables, and other refuse, sanitation vehicles will often have to travel down narrow streets. This means very little room for vehicles or people to pass safely. Down such narrow streets, accidents and injuries could become more likely simply given the tight confines that restrict movement and the ability to avoid an accident.
Garbage Truck Collisions with Parked Vehicles
A car doesn’t need to be driven to be damaged in an accident. Garbage trucks can sometimes strike parked vehicles as they go down the street. We mentioned above that the force generated in even low-speed accidents with garbage trucks can be immense. When garbage trucks strike parked vehicles, drivers must be held accountable for their actions.
Fallen Trash as a Hazard on the Road
Garbage trucks themselves don’t just pose dangers. If the garbage truck loses bags of garbage or drops refuse in the road, this can become a hazard to other motorists. Garbage bags and waste can get caught in a car’s tires or wheel wells as they drive by, making accidents more likely. Drivers could swerve to avoid striking the garbage in the road, which increases the risk of side collisions with adjacent vehicles.
If any trash falls from a garbage truck, sanitation workers should make sure the trash does not remain on the road simply given the realities of these dangers.
Who Is Legally Liable in a Garbage Truck Accident?
Proving who is legally liable in a garbage truck accident depends on a number of different factors. Sometimes driver negligence or distraction is to blame. Other times the sanitation company needs to be held liable for poor hiring practices or overworking their employees. It’s even possible for the makers of the garbage truck to be held liable when vehicle defects cause or contribute to an accident.
Given these complexities, it’s important to have skilled auto accident lawyers on your side. Attorneys from our law firm can go over the evidence in your case and make sure the right party if held accountable.
Speak with Experienced Auto Accident Attorneys
For more information about your legal options following a collision with a garbage truck, we encourage you to contact our team of auto accident lawyers. The attorneys of Chanfrau & Chanfrau are here to help. You can reach our Daytona Beach location by phone at (866) 610-0653, and our office in Palm Coast at (386) 439-7760.