Most people in South Florida really do not think about being killed or permanently injured by a garbage truck. The statistics make this fantasy unrealistic. Almost two people are killed weekly in the United States in an accident that involves a garbage truck. Garbage trucks are deadlier than hurricanes. Data collected by a Florida injury attorney has helped to bring the various parts of the problem to light.
Garbage collection is rated as the fifth most dangerous occupation in the United States. Many of the injuries and deaths that involve garbage trucks involve the men and women who manually collect the cans and dump them into the trucks.
An ongoing industry wide safety initiative has reduced some of the injuries by forcing workers to attend more safety training. The additional training has been ongoing since 2007.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has corroborated the waste collection study independently. The CDC study also indicated that the danger to the public was greater due to the design of garbage collection vehicles. The drivers cannot see vehicles and pedestrians due to the size of the vehicle and their position in the vehicle cab. This issue has not been addressed.
Garbage trucks are four times more likely to be involved in an accident than taxis. Taxis operate more hours and in more different weather conditions than garbage trucks. Some of the recent fatal and near fatal garbage truck accidents in Florida includes:
- A garbage truck plowed through a barrier on an I-95 overpass in Miami in February 2016. The truck fell 100 feet to a road below and hit several cars. Miraculously no one was injured.
- A Fort Myers City garbage truck hit a van on S. R. 82 and killed the van driver in March 2016.
- A garbage truck backed over a Fort Myers bar employee and killed him in August 2016. The driver said that he did not see the 44-year-old employee.
- A garbage truck hit a phone pole and slid into a tree in June 2017 in Fort Myers. Fuel leaked from the truck and caught fire. Colonial Boulevard and the Midpoint Memorial Bridge traffic halted for several hours. The driver had only minor injuries.
- An FCC Environmental Services garbage truck hit and killed a 73-year-old man in Orlando in December 2017. The man was walking his dog.
The short list shows just how real the dangers of garbage trucks are in Florida. Settlements for life changing injuries, enormous hospital bills, long term recovery, loss of income, and the loss of a loved one from an accident involving a garbage truck often receive jury awards of several million dollars.
A Florida injury attorney who has access to the facts about the dangers involved with garbage trucks is more capable of meeting the needs of those who have been injured by this “necessary evil” of modern life.
It is hoped that enough suits brought by an injury attorney will change the industry and design of the trucks and end the menace that garbage trucks create.