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The Special Dangers of Garbage Truck Accidents in Florida

December 02, 2022

Garbage trucks pose a much higher risk of a collision because they do not have to comply with all traffic laws and restrictions that apply to ordinary Florida motorists.  Like a tractor-trailer these hefty vehicles when fully loaded can weigh nearly 25 tons, which amounts to 15 times the weight of a small passenger car. While large tractor-trailers tend to travel on highways, garbage trucks navigate residential neighborhoods with narrow streets filled with children at play, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

While drivers of passenger vehicle are allowed to drive on just one side of the street, Florida garbage trucks can drive on both sides of the street.  These vehicles have limited visibility and routinely engage in frequent starts and stops.  These factors can combine to cause catastrophic injuries like broken bones/fractures, brain injuries, damage to internal organs, paraplegia/quadriplegia, loss of limbs, and even death.

If a garbage truck is picking up trash in a residential area during the summer when children are playing, for example, 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 such risks, but sometimes they fail to do so with tragic results. Other accident risks posed by garbage trucks include debris falling off the truck or the loss of control of the massive vehicle because of faulty brakes or tire problems.

Trash trucks also pose a hazard to cyclists when truck drivers fail to take adequate precautions.  Because garbage trucks usually make wide and unexpected turns, their drivers need to pay attention to cyclists who sometimes must navigate in and around cars.  Sometimes trash truck drivers cannot see cyclists behind or adjacent to the truck.  Cyclists need to be aware that if they cannot see the garbage truck’s mirrors, the garbage truck driver cannot see the cyclist.

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, mistakes like running red lights or texting on a cell phone magnifies the already increased risk of hitting a pedestrian, vehicle, or cyclist.  These factors can combine to cause catastrophic injuries like broken bones/fractures, brain injuries, damage to internal organs, paraplegia/quadriplegia, loss of limbs, and even death.

For garbage truck victims, the medical bills, including hospital and rehabilitation expenses can be staggering.  If the garbage truck accident results in severe injuries to a family breadwinner, the economic pressure and financial stress for surviving family members can be overwhelming.  If you or your loved ones are involved in an accident with a garbage truck in Florida, an experienced accident injury lawyer can analyze your situation and advice you about your legal rights to financial compensation.

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Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.