Garbage trucks are some of the largest and most cumbersome vehicles encountered by road users. When they’re involved in a collision, that can mean serious damage to other vehicles. Illinois motorists should be aware that accidents involving trash trucks are actually fairly common. The risks posed by these vehicles need to be understood by others on the road.
Privileges for trash trucks
Because of their unique job function, in many places garbage trucks are afforded special privileges. For example, in some areas, they are permitted to drive in bike lanes, go down a one-way street in the wrong direction, or even travel across the median. This means that even if a garbage truck driver is doing something unusual, they may not be found negligent for doing it.
Sometimes, garbage is collected by the municipality or county, not a private company. In these cases, there may be some level of immunity provided to the garbage collection service. Government immunity may shield a publicly funded trash collection service from liability in civil trials. For victims of truck accidents, this can create problems.
Be defensive on the streets
During driver education programs, the concept of defensive driving is often taught. Drivers, pedestrians and cyclists should always be aware and alert when sharing the street with a trash truck. They should understand that the driver of the trash truck may have special privileges compared to others on the road.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a collision with a trash truck, it’s important to contact a lawyer. An experienced attorney may be able to let you know if you have a case and what damages you may be able to pursue.