Most motorists have had the unpleasant experience of driving behind a fully-load dump truck as it clumsily lumbers down the road. When loaded full of material or junk, dump trucks can weigh tens of thousands of pounds. As a result, drivers often have a difficult time coming to a complete stop and negotiating turns effectively. Additionally, dump trucks are heavy vehicles with enormous blind spots, making it difficult for operators to see other motorists. For these reasons, Arizona dump truck accidents are more common than most motorists realize.
Indeed, in 2016, the number of dump truck collisions increased by nine percent, to a total of 8,206. This figure only considers serious accidents that require at least one vehicle to be towed from the scene. Of these accidents, roughly 370 resulted in at least one fatality, either to the driver of the dump truck or to another person – motorist, pedestrian, or bicyclist – involved in the accident.
As a general matter, dump truck drivers owe those with whom they share the road a duty of care. This duty not only requires dump truck drivers to operate their vehicle safely and responsibly, but also obliges that they take care to safely load the truck and ensure that the load is secure. Indeed, unsecured cargo that bounces out of a dump truck is a major cause of Arizona dump truck accidents.