Accidents Caused By Alpharetta Garbage Trucks
Waste disposal vehicles undoubtedly provide an essential service to cities, but when these massive trucks attempt to maneuver narrow residential streets, one wrong move can have fatal consequences for any motorist, bicyclist, or pedestrian in their path.
Each year, roughly 100,000 motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists are involved in crashes with commercial trucks. Among these, accidents involving garbage trucks have one of the highest incidence rates of serious injuries. In fact, the US Department of Labor has consistently ranked the job of garbage truck operator as one of America’s most dangerous occupations, in large part due to a high incidence of fatal garbage truck crashes. Waste disposal vehicles were involved in over 1,400 injury-causing collisions and near 90 fatality-causing crashes in 2010, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Causes of Garbage Truck Accidents in Fulton County
Some of the most frequent accident types include:
- Negligence on the part of the driver. The garbage truck driver has many responsibilities. Unfortunately, sometimes a driver is not paying adequate attention to these duties. One form of negligence is driving under the influence or while impaired by illness, fatigue, or prescribed medications. Other negligent behaviors include speeding, texting while driving, or becoming distracted by other activities.
- Poorly maintained vehicle. A heavy-duty vehicle like a garbage truck must have routine maintenance if it is to provide safe operation. Different departments may handle this responsibility in different ways. The agency may employ specialists to maintain the vehicle or the driver may be accountable for the maintenance.
- Defective equipment. A garbage truck is a moving platform for specialized heavy equipment. Because it is a piece of complex machinery, the compactor and other parts of the garbage truck may have manufacturing errors. In some cases, the manufacturer may be legally responsible for an accident if they supplied equipment that was either defective or unreasonably dangerous.
- Equipment falling from the vehicle. Shovels, brooms, or other equipment that is not adequately secured to the truck may fall onto a Clearwater roadway causing a serious road hazard for other drivers.
- Debris falling from the truck. Sometimes not all of the debris or refuse thrown into the garbage truck is caught in the compactor. Instead, the debris flies out. Like unsecured equipment, a collector may be injured or other drivers may be endangered.
- Severe weather: Only the most severe weather will stop the garbage trucks from their rounds. But rain, sleet, snow and fog add more hazards to the collectors, the drivers, and all other vehicles in Gainesville.
Additional causes of waste management truck collisions include:
- Oversized loads
- Large blind spots
- Inability to stop suddenly
- Low driver visibility
- Fails to follow traffic signage
- Faulty back-up alarms
- Auto parts malfunction
Safety Concerns Regarding Waste Management Trucks in Alpharetta
Although any powerful motor vehicle can cause severe injury in the event of a truck accident, the ways in which garbage trucks are typically operated create several unique safety concerns for nearby drivers and pedestrians.
- Narrow roads and alleyways: Because garbage collection trucks must navigate through a complex network of city streets and back streets, they often find themselves in narrow alleyways where visibility and maneuverability are limited. If a driver fails to take proper precautions an accident is likely.
- Erratic driving patterns: Garbage trucks make frequent and often unexpected stops to pick up waste. Drivers and cyclists around the truck may be in danger if these stops are made too quickly or without warning.
- Falling objects/waste: The many waste items and objects that a garbage truck may be carrying at any time are also hazards. If they are negligently piled up or inadequately secured, they may fall from the truck onto nearby cars or pedestrians, a serious danger if the garbage truck is moving at a high speed.
- Mechanical failure: In addition to tire defects, brake system malfunctions, and other dangerous mechanical failures, garbage trucks are also vulnerable to breakdowns of their unique moving parts, including compartment doors and lifting arms.
Injuries Caused by Garbage Truck Collisions
Many Georgia garbage truck collisions result in severe injuries to those involved. As large vehicles moving around in small spaces, it is often difficult for the truck to maintain visibility or to stop suddenly. Injuries associated with waste disposal truck accidents include:
- broken bones
- back and neck injury
- eye damage
- brain injury
- spinal cord damage
If you or a loved one has experienced any injury following a truck collision, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is necessary to speak to an experienced Alpharetta truck accident attorney who can determine if the truck driver and/or the company violated any Georgia or federal regulation.