UNITED STATES—We hear about the dangers of car accidents all the time, but we hardly ever hear about garbage truck accidents. Compared to car crashes, they’re quite rare. It’s estimated that 2,400 garbage truck collisions happen every year. Of those, 1400 people were injured, and 100 people died.

On the other hand, nearly 4.8 million people are injured, and 50,000 die each year due to car accidents, but that doesn’t mean garbage trucks aren’t dangerous. In fact, truck accidents are more likely to result in serious injury, whereas cars are becoming safer to drive by the year.

Hiring a Lawyer Who Specializes in Truck Accidents

While garbage truck collisions don’t happen as often as car crashes, nearly all accidents involving a truck can cause life-altering injuries. OSHA, which has documented garbage truck related accidents since 1984, has tracked over 800 individual incidents, many of which are fatal.

But of those that aren’t fatal, broken bones and amputations are almost always present. If you were one of these victims, you can find an experienced lawyer to represent you in court.

For example, Munley Law is the only law first in the United States that staffs two lawyers who served as chair of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. They know a thing or two about garbage truck crashes and have won many cases involving garbage trucks. 

How Garbage Trucks Jeopardize Public Safety

Waste management employees, other drivers, and bicyclists are the most common victims of garbage truck accidents. Crashes often occur in the morning when visibility is low or during times of poor weather. Driver negligence is a typical culprit of any motor vehicle crash.

You can find several accidents involving the public, including an incident that occurred on September 16th, 2020, where the arm of a garbage truck grabbed a bench and launched a woman off of it. On April 25th, a man was rushed to the hospital for being struck by a truck.

There’s no doubt that accidents concerning the public are terrifying, but you’re more likely to be injured if you’re a garbage truck operator. Employees are often hit by the truck itself or the arm, which can injure or kill them. Many times, operators have to jump off the truck or are flung onto the road due to brake failure, sudden stops, icy roads, or poor visibility (in foggy conditions).

Why Garbage Truck Accidents are Concerning

The nature of the job can make operating a garbage truck dangerous. The constant starting and stopping and the trucks’ large size can pose a threat to the drivers and passers-by. Based on OSHA data, most garbage truck accidents (injuries or fatalities) occur while it’s still dark. 

A private investigation revealed that private waste collection companies are more dangerous than public. Some operators work between 10 to 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. Suffering from burnout and a lack of rest, private waste collection operators would fall asleep at the wheel.

There’s also proof that many garbage truck operators will brake without warning. This has caused cars to collide with stationary recycling trucks, which led to injury and death.

How the Authorities Are Reducing Garbage Truck Accidents

Garbage truck accidents are increasing every year, which caused the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) to jump into action. SWANA urged companies to review their work-safety protocols for the purpose of keeping their drivers and city civilians safe.

Driving requires total focus and attention, especially when operators are expected to multi-task and perform complicated maneuvers. SWANA understands that waste management workers play a vital role in keeping our city clean, and they’re ensuring these workers are respected.