In New York City residential trash is hauled away by the Department of Sanitation, which is composed of unionized trash collectors who follow compact routes. The thousands of businesses throughout the city, however, rely on the services of the more than 250 private sanitation companies driving to customers scattered around the city. Private garbage trucks can be dangerous. Over the past two years, accidents involving private garbage trucks have doubled. A report from Transform Don’t Trash NYC found that the top 20 private garbage companies had 67 crashes in the last two years. There are many factors that have led to this increase in private garbage truck accidents.
Just like any drivers, private garbage truck drivers can be reckless and inattentive while driving. Garbage trucks are large vehicles with poor visibility. If a driver is distracted, intoxicated, fatigued, or not following the rules of the road, the results can be dire. Drivers are also often pressured into completing their scattered routes on time and can speed or run red lights to get the job done.
A private garbage company may be negligent in hiring the driver that caused the accident. Failure to perform a background or driving record check could result in the hiring of a driver with a DUI conviction or other blemishes on their record.
Private garbage truck drivers often have hundreds of stops to complete during their shifts. These stops can be anywhere across the city. The amount of work often leads to drivers going over their 11-hour federal Department of Transportation driving limit and working more than 18-hour days to get the job done. Overworked drivers are fatigued drivers who can fall asleep at the wheel and cause serious damage. The pressure to complete routes can also lead to speeding and dangerous maneuvers such as driving the wrong way on a one-way street.
Negligent Truck Maintenance
Many private garbage trucks are in poor condition and are not properly maintained by the garbage companies. The Transform Don’t Trash NYC report found that private garbage trucks routinely fail government inspections. Over the past 2 years, 55% of the trucks operated by the city’s top private garbage companies were taken off the road after failing inspections by the federal Department of Transportation. Garbage companies are required to perform routine maintenance and conduct inspections on the trucks in their fleet. Improperly maintained garbage trucks could lead to brake failure, broken turn signals and backup lights, and tire failure.
Contact an Experienced New York Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a private garbage truck, you should have a personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.