If you are like most drivers, you probably think of dump trucks or garbage trucks as a source of annoyance, not a source of risk. They make constant stops on the road, sometimes you can smell them if you have your windows rolled down and they make a lot of noise when they drive through your neighborhood in the early morning hours.
In addition to being frustrating and loud, they are also highly dangerous. Garbage trucks or dump trucks, as well as recycling trucks, are heavy, long and wide. It is all too easy for the person in control of them to cause a crash that hurts someone else.
How common are dump truck and garbage truck crashes?
Across the United States, on average, several people each day will get into a crash with a garbage truck that causes injury. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, garbage trucks caused 107 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries annually. While sanitation workers often get hurt on the job, about 75% of the fatalities reported involved the people in the other vehicle.
Those operating the garbage truck may be sleep deprived due to long hours. They may not check the area around their vehicle before merging or turning because they are more focused on their workload or the person hanging off the back of the truck. They could even fall asleep at the wheel or make the terrible mistake of texting and driving.
If you or someone in your family gets hurt in a crash caused by a dump truck, you have the same rights you would have in any other major commercial vehicle crash, including the right to file an insurance claim and possibly seek compensation for your losses and damages.