The Dangers of Sanitation Truck Accidents in NY

The Dangers of Sanitation Truck Accidents in NY

Sanitation trucks perform an important job in keeping our areas clean, but they can also endanger walkers, cyclists, and motorists, especially if truck drivers and sanitation businesses fail to exercise enough care and caution. According to research produced by the Alliance of Greater New York, sanitation trucks, particularly privately owned sanitation trucks, were engaged in more accidents than ever before in the city.

If you were critically wounded in a sanitation truck accident, you might be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost earnings, and other expenditures related to your injury. Long Island Truck Accident Lawyer | Carner & DeVita ( have the experience and resources to assist you in obtaining the compensation you require following an accident. For a free consultation to discuss your situation, contact us today.

The Dangers of Private Sanitation Trucks Have Increased.

In New York, most sanitation truck accidents are caused by privately owned sanitation trucks transporting commercial garbage. According to a survey by the Alliance of Greater New York, the 20 largest private sanitation businesses in New York City had their collision rates quadruple in only two years, from 35 in 2016 to 67 in 2018. The investigation found that city-owned trash trucks were responsible for only one fatal accident between 2014 and the study’s publication.

Automobiles, bicycles, and pedestrians engaged in accidents caused by careless truck drivers can sustain catastrophic and life-altering injuries. Sanitation truck drivers must take extra caution due to their size, particularly in places with considerable foot traffic and pedestrians, such as neighborhoods. Unfortunately, with so much trash to clean up each day, these businesses frequently take risks, putting others in danger unnecessarily.

A variety of factors causes accidents involving sanitation trucks. Accidents involving private sanitation trucks are caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Fatigue

Sanitation truck drivers are required to work long hours and meet strict deadlines. Some people spend 14 to 18 hours a day lugging trash throughout New York City. There are few, if any, sanitation truck drivers who are well-rested. Driver weariness is a big problem in the private sanitation business, and private sanitation companies have done nothing to address it. Fatigued drivers may exhibit a general lack of awareness, impaired judgment, inability to concentrate, and a delayed response to traffic conditions and road dangers, all of which can result in accidents.

  • Driving Without Conscience

Because private sanitation drivers labor under pressure to meet tight deadlines, often late at night, they typically drive in a risky manner. Private sanitation truck drivers are frequently urged to hurry by their bosses. As a result, unsafe driving practices emerge, such as:

  • Failure to stop at stop signs and traffic lights
  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Speeding
  • Failing to secure loads properly
  • Driving in the incorrect lane
  • Failing to notice pedestrians, cyclists, and others before turning or reversing
  • Illegal parking
  • Neglecting to inspect and maintain the vehicle properly


  • Insufficient Maintenance

Privately owned sanitation trucks fail inspection tests higher than other sanitation trucks. Tire problems, brake problems, malfunctioning lights, and poorly secured cargo are common maintenance issues that private sanitation businesses overlook. Because they know they might be serving more businesses and generating income, private sanitation companies may forget to maintain trucks correctly.

  • Routes That Are Different

Unlike city sanitation trucks, which are normally assigned to a certain section of the city, private sanitation companies have clients spread over the five boroughs. As a result, private sanitation truck drivers continuously zipped throughout the city, collecting rubbish from various clients. Sanitation truck drivers may find this stressful as they try to fulfill their daily responsibilities while traveling through congested areas of the city. The inconsistency of private sanitation truck routes and their erratic scheduling can lead to disastrous accidents.

  • Number Of Operating Personnel

The increased incidence of private sanitation truck accidents can also be attributed to the sheer volume of private sanitation trucks on the road. Approximately 90 private sanitation truck firms serve over 100,000 businesses in New York City every week. The increased number of private sanitation vehicles on the road increases the risk of accidents.

What is New York City doing to address this problem?

The New York City council enacted a bill in late 2019 that would completely revamp the city’s private garbage truck industry. The new bill aims to reduce truck traffic by half and make New York City roadways safer for automobiles, pedestrians, and cyclists. The bill divides New York City into 20 zones, each supplied by three different private sanitation carters. Drivers, helpers, and others who operate in private sanitation must also be trained under the measure.

The bill promises big improvements, but it’s unclear how much of an impact they’ll have on street safety. As of 2021, the bill has not been fully implemented, and until it is, private sanitation businesses will continue to endanger vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles in the name of profit.

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