Texas garbage trucks pose a unique risk to other motorists on the roadways. Garbage truck accidents in Austin and throughout the State of Texas are on the rise, and often times the results are serious injuries and even death.
When people think of injuries caused by collisions with large trucks, they often think of eighteen wheeler accidents. However, there are unique characteristics associated with the operation of Garbage Trucks in Austin that pose a unique risk to you and your family.
A recent study by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) explains why you may be more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries due to a Garbage Truck accident than any other commercial vehicle accident. Here are some scary findings from the NHTSA study regarding Garbage Truck Accidents in Texas:
- Garbage Trucks typically operate short-haul trips, which means that most fatal Garbage Truck collisions occur within 50 miles of the company’s home base. You are more likely to encounter a Garbage Truck in your neighborhood, close to your home, or in smaller city streets, than any other commercial vehicle.
- Because of the short-haul nature of Texas Garbage Truck operations, there are more opportunities to collide with passenger vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists in and around your home.
- Garbage Trucks, and other “single unit” trucks like cement mixers, dump trucks, and commercial vans, are not subject to the same NHTSA safety regulations as tractor trailers.
For example, these single unit trucks are not required to be equipped with “underride guards,” which prevent passenger vehicles from submarining under the commercial truck during a collision.
Additionally, single unit trucks are not required to enhance visibility through the use of conspicuity instruments, like reflective tape, flashing lights, and similar methods. Single Unit trucks are not required to have electronic stability control systems, which can help an operator avoid potentially fatal passenger car and commercial truck collisions in Texas.
The lack of underride guards and conspicuity systems on many commercial trucks in Austin pose a unique risk in a city where traffic is becoming increasingly congested. Any vehicle that makes sudden stops on a roadway poses a danger to other motorists and cyclists sharing the roads. The fact that many of these vehicles do not have a mechanism in place to prevent a passenger vehicle from being trapped underneath the commercial truck in the event of a collision almost assures that a collision will result in more severe injuries than would occur had the truck been equipped with underride guards. When you add in the lack of conspicuity markers on a garbage truck that makes frequent stops in and around your home, you can see how these commercial trucks pose a significant risk of serious or fatal injuries in the event of a crash.
Like any commercial truck accident in Austin, if you have suffered injuries in such a collision, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced attorney right away. Often times key evidence like vehicle inspections, driver’s log books, dispatch records, and similar documentation can be “lost” or destroyed.