Ohio Rumpke Garbage Truck Accidents
For almost 100 years, Rumpke garbage trucks have provided both residential and commercial trash and recycling services through Ohio as well as Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia. While garbage trucks have become a keystone of modern life, these vehicles also present substantial safety hazards. All Ohio motorists and passengers should understand what makes garbage truck accidents so dangerous.
The Dangers Associated with Rumpke Garbage Trucks
Just like other large commercial vehicles, garbage trucks have several characteristics including large blind spots and difficulty maneuvering that make accidents involving them more likely. While a motorist might be able to correct a small error while driving and remain safe, even the tiniest errors while navigating a garbage truck through a tight space can lead to deadly accidents.
Garbage trucks are constantly backing up, stopping, and turning, which significantly increases the chances of accidents. Consequently, Rumpke and other garbage truck drivers must exercise the highest degree of caution when performing their jobs.
When garbage truck accidents do occur, the resulting injuries are almost always severe. Some of the most common injuries faced by garbage truck accident victims include:
- Back injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal organ injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Additionally, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that in 2017 there 107 fatalities as the result of garbage and refuse truck accidents. Approximately 25% of the people who were killed in these accidents are sanitation workers.
Common Causes of Ohio Garbage Truck Accidents
Some unique dangers are created by garbage trucks, but a few of the most common ways in which garbage truck accidents occur include:
- Falling debris. Garbage trucks are designed to securely contain trash, but they do not always do so. When heavy debris escapes the truck, the debris can collide with nearby vehicles, pedestrians, or cyclists and result in deadly accidents.
- Equipment failure. Sanitation trucks require workers to receive special training before operating the complicated equipment included on the vehicle. If truck equipment fails to operate properly, the operator can quickly become unable to control the vehicle. This can greatly endanger the lives of motorists.
- Inattentive drivers. Many garbage truck accidents occur while the driver is in reverse or otherwise fails to pay attention to the surroundings.
- Negligent driving. Due to their substantial size and weight, special precautions should be taken when operating a garbage truck. When drivers fail to cautiously operate garbage trucks, they can find themselves in life-changing accidents.
Rumpke Truck Drivers Must Follow Safety Standards
It should come as no surprise that the United States Department of Labor lists garbage truck operation as a dangerous profession. Whether it is a Rumpke truck or any other type of garbage truck, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration recommends that drivers follow several important safety standards, which include:
- Workers must wear reflect and protective gear while on the job
- Workers must help the side of the garbage truck while the compactor is on
- Garbage truck equipment must be turned off when operations are not occurring
- Trucks are only permitted to operate once workers have made a clear path for pedestrians
Failure to adhere to these safety standards can greatly endanger the lives of workers and others. Evidence of failure to conform with any of these requirements can also be used in a court of law to show that a garbage truck operator was acting negligently.
Examples of Rumpke Truck Accidents
There are many cases involving Rumpke truck accidents. For example, consider the following stories:
- In May 2016, four family members died in a Vinton County accident after the vehicle’s driver failed to yield at a stop sign and collided with a Rumpke truck.
- In October 2019, two people were rushed to the hospital after their vehicle collided with the rear end of a Rumpke garbage truck. At the time of the accident, the Rumpke worker was operating the back part of the vehicle.
- In January 2020, a sanitation worker was pinned between a Rumpke garbage truck and a sports utility vehicle in a collision. It took responders approximately 30 minutes to extract the victim from the wreckage.
- In February 2020, a woman was killed after she collided with a Rumpke garbage truck in Butler County.
Speak with an Experienced Garbage Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a garbage truck accident, remember that you have the right to pursue compensation. At Kruger & Hodges, we have helped many accident victims, and we remain committed to fighting for the results you deserve. Contact us today.