While garbage trucks are vital to keeping a clean community and effective waste management, there are certain potential risks associated with them. These tend to have a larger size which can result in many blind spots and this can lead to many road fatalities.

There should be steps taken to mitigate the risks of garbage truck operation so that vulnerable road users are kept safe. There is limited visibility for a driver of a garbage truck especially due to its size and this makes it difficult to manoeuvre. The blind spots that are created by the size of the garbage trucks can endanger pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles surrounding the truck. And having reduced visibility will increase the chances of an accident taking place. If the driver is not aware of a pedestrian in their blind spot, they will change the direction of the truck without taking that into consideration. The design of a garbage truck can affect its manoeuvrability. They have a great size and weight which can impact the capabilities of the truck to accelerate and the turning distance can be affected as well. Also, the larger size and weight can impact braking distances. All of these factors make it difficult to handle the vehicle.

Especially when it comes to crowded urban areas,

It becomes very difficult to handle a garbage truck which can further increase the possibility of collision with other vehicles, obstacles, pedestrians etc. The operations of the garbage truck can also contribute to road accidents. Unlike other vehicles, garbage trucks tend to make frequent stops along their route to pick up waste bins. The driver of the garbage truck will need to back up the vehicle many times and they will need to manoeuver the truck in close quarters in many places. And this creates a hazard. Many pedestrians or cyclists tend to not anticipate the movements of the truck. For example, you may pass the truck without paying much heed to it and the driver may not see you in the blind spot. Or they may have already checked the blind spots but without a spotter, they may back up which can put you in a tricky situation.

Garbage trucks tend to come in the early morning when there is less traffic but this can also be a risk factor in increasing accidents. There is less visibility because of low light and the garbage truck user may be fatigued which can also lead to more accidents. Some drivers may not expect garbage trucks to be in operation at this time. For example, if you are coming home after completing a night shift, you will be fatigued and not anticipate a garbage truck to operate at early morning, you may not take proper precautions to stay a safe distance away from the truck. To improve visibility of the trucks, there are many solutions that can be adapted such as using additional mirrors, sensors and cameras. These can eliminate blind spots and give the driver a better understanding of the surroundings.