Private Garbage Truck Crashes Spike in New York City

Crashes involving private sanitation trucks in New York City have doubled since 2016, according to data from the Department of Transportation. The data states that 20 of the biggest waste hauling companies in the city were involved in 35 wrecks between 2014 and 2016, including two fatal accidents. 

Since March 2016, 20 trash haulers were in 67 crashes with five deaths. This growing number of accidents and fatalities stands in stark contrast to declining traffic deaths across New York City. Last year, 214 people died in auto accidents in the city, with 299 the year before.

Public safety advocates say the increase in private garbage hauler accidents is because drivers are pushed too hard. Some of them work 18 hour shifts and do not get enough rest. They say there is much pressure on the driver to get the route done on time, and this can cause drivers to speed and run red lights among other traffic infractions.

Trash haulers in other large cities do not have a record that compares to New York City. The biggest trash hauling companies in New York City have more than three times more crashes per driver than drivers in Seattle and Los Angeles.

Our View

Sanitation workers are important to our cities and communities. But garbage trucks, like tractor trailers, need to be driven responsibly so there are as few accidents as possible. Garbage truck accidents can lead to serious injuries, including brain injuries, crush injuries, burns and wrongful death.

Many garbage truck accidents are due to driver negligence, defective equipment and poor maintenance.

One of the first things that a garbage truck crash personal injury attorney can do in a crash case is to determine whether the garbage truck is inspected on a regular basis. It is common for garbage haulers to neglect maintenance and inspections so they can make more money.

Sanitation companies should take care that their drivers are always driving in a responsible manner and are driving safe trucks. When a truck driver engages in negligent driving behavior, a fatal accident can occur. Our Virginia truck accident attorneys represented the family of a truck driver who was side swiped on a Virginia highway by another truck driver. He died a few hours later at the hospital.

That case resulted in a $2.25 million settlement, but if the negligent trucker had taken better care of his health, he would not have had a medical problem that led to the crash. Our attorneys proved he knew about the medical problem and did nothing to treat it.