Garbage Truck Accidents
A report, researched and written by Right of Way, an organization that promotes pedestrian rights, was based on figures from the Police Department’s crash records, from 1994 to 1997. It showed that on average, garbage trucks killed 24 pedestrians, cyclists or “people not in automobiles” per 100 million miles driven, far more than any other vehicle on the road. The report said that garbage haulers killed eight people a year.
How Can These Accidents Be Prevented?
- Drivers should:
- Find all workers, either directly or in mirrors, before moving in any direction. Stop backing immediately if you can’t see all workers.
- Avoid sudden starts or stops that could cause riders to be thrown from riding steps.
- Wait for step riders to signal before putting the truck in motion.
- Other crew members should:
- Ride in the cab or a separate vehicle when not on the collection route.
- Use riding steps only when the truck is moving forward for short distances (<0.2 mi.) at slow speeds (<10 mph).
- Ride facing the side of the truck with both hands on the handholds.
- Step (do not jump) off steps only after the truck has completely stopped.
- Wear slip-resistant footwear and avoid narrow cleats or spikes.
- Be aware of the driver’s blind spot. If you can’t see the driver in the mirror, he can’t see you.