garbage truck accident

Posted on by mcooper

Garbage Truck Accidents

In December, 2010, a Honda, traveling at a high rate of speed, rear-ended a garbage truck in suburban West Palm Beach, Florida. Astruck accident attorneys, we were not surprised to read the report in the Palm Beach Post, which says, “A Honda rear-ended the garbage truck, killing the driver of the Honda…The driver of the garbage truck, James Estimond, 47, of West Palm Beach, was not hurt…”Generally speaking, when a car tangles with a garbage truck, the driver of the car is far likelier to be hurt or killed than the driver of the garbage truck. The car may be demolished, and the garbage truck will likely come out of it looking relatively unscathed.

Typical rear-load garbage trucks – the kind most commonly used in residential neighborhoods – can weigh up to 44,000 pounds fully loaded. And garbage trucks are built like tanks – VERY solidly. They need to be. Garbage trucks have to handle all sorts of things being thrown at them. In order to allow them to pick up more garbage, they compact the garbage as they go, which requires extremely powerful hydraulic systems, and heavy duty metal to withstand the pressure. To accommodate loading and processing, there are all sorts of metal protuberances on a garbage truck, which can cause additional damage to cars or pedestrians in the event of a collision.

There are additional features which make garbage trucks hazardous. Like all large trucks, garbage trucks have large blind spots, areas where the driver cannot see cars or pedestrians from the driver’s seat. Unlike other large trucks, garbage trucks very commonly operate in residential neighborhoods, around kids who may not be aware of the safety issues associated with being around large trucks. Garbage trucks also frequently drive on the wrong side of the road to collect trash (unlike other vehicles, they are allowed to do this), and they often backup, stop suddenly, and otherwise do a lot of maneuvering to complete their tasks.

“Killed by Automobile,” a 1999 report compiled by Charles Komanoff and members of the pedestrian safety group “Right of Way,” shows that garbage trucks were by far the most dangerous vehicles on New York City streets during 1994 to 1997 for pedestrians. Per mile driven, they killed nearly 25 times as many pedestrians as do cars.

Garbage trucks are dangerous. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a garbage truck, you need an experienced truck accident attorney to help you determine your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.

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