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Why Do Accidents Involving Commercial-Grade Street Sweepers Keep Happening?

Updated on: 1/15/2020

street sweeper accidents

Are Accidents Involving Street Sweeper Vehicles On The Rise?

Serious and fatal accidents involving commercial grade street sweepers appear to be on the rise. These very specific type of accidents consistently involve similar contributing factors, including under-trained employees and failure to utilize the important safety features installed on commercial grade sanitation vehicles. 

RELATED: $4 Million Settlement Recovered In Street Sweeper Accident Case

Below is a list of 37 individual street sweeper accidents involving pedestrians and/or motor vehicles that were reported in media outlets across the United States in the last 8 years.  

2018

  • Chesterfield, Michigan - Three injured when bus hits street sweeper
  • La Habra, California - One Killed In Collision With Street Sweeper
  • Bellevue, Washington - Street sweeper kills pedestrian near Bellevue construction site
  • San Diego, California - Construction workers dragged into trench by street sweeper
  • Rockville, Maryland - Injuries after street sweeper involved in crash in Rockville
  • Baltimore, Maryland - Street-sweeper driver killed in crash
  • Charleston, West Virginia -  Crash involving street sweeper
  • Sacramento, California - Street Sweeper Overturns On Highway 50 Near Watt Avenue
  • Covington, Pennsylvania - Street Sweeper Accident, One Dead
  • Eden, Utah - Man dies after street sweeper crashes on Utah's Powder Mountain
  • Austin, Texas - Street sweeper crashes into side of 7-Eleven
  • Cary, North Carolina - 2 injured after street sweeper runs off road
  • Sewickley, Pennsylvania - Street sweeper, tractor-trailer crash on Route 65
  • Los Angeles, California - Fiery street sweeper explosion blows out nearby windows

2017

  • Lorain, Ohio – Driver critically injured from head-on accident with street sweeper
  • Arkansas City, Kansas – City employee died from injuries suffered after being struck by a street sweeper
  • Norfolk, Virginia – Fatal motor vehicle accident caused by vehicle rear-ending a street sweeper
  • Gwinnett County, Georgia – Driver killed by his own street sweeper while trying to loosen debris when he became pinned between the hydraulic arm and the hopper of the truck,
  • St. Louis, Missouri – Parked car smashed by runaway street sweeper that had been release by a broken chain on a city tow truck.  
  • Jacksonville, Florida – Street sweeper driver killed as he was trying to clear something from the machine accidentally became entangled in it.
  • Cicero, New York – Street sweeper truck hits and kills a pedestrian crossing the street.  
  • Stanton, California – One person died and another in critical condition after a car and a street sweeper collided.
  • Rogers, Arkansas – A street sweeper crashed into a home injuring a woman and her son who were sleeping inside.  

2016

  • Denver, Colorado – Speeding street sweeper “suddenly, inexplicably and without warning, executed a 180-degree (turn) to reverse direction” striking a bicyclist causing broken bones, cracked ribs and a traumatic brain injury. Injury lawsuit claims the city of Denver didn’t properly train and monitor the sweeper driver.
  • Chicago, Illinois – Seven people were injured in a crash with a street sweeper as it was cleaning a road.   

2015

  • Washington, DC – Elderly pedestrian was hit by the back of a street sweeping truck, knocked down and then pulled underneath by the brush. The vehicle’s backup camera was not working. No safety crews or flagmen on site as required by local audiences. $12 million dollar wrongful death suit filed by family.  
  • Napa, California – A street sweeper attempting to make a U-turn, turned left into the number two lane of traffic, sideswiping an SUV driven by a woman with two small children causing major injuries. Jury awards $8.4 million verdict for the victim and her children. 
  • Skowhegan, Maine – 14-year-old boy was injured after the Jeep in which he was a passenger slammed into the back of a town-operated street sweeper. $150,000 settlement.  
  • New York – Sanitation worker was struck and killed by a street sweeper inside a garage when the driver took his foot off the brake pedal without putting his vehicle in park. The driver denied liability and blamed the incident on faulty equipment. 

2014 

  • Pompton Lakes, New Jersey – Man suffers serious injuries when his car went out of control after a near-collision with a street sweeper. $2.13 million jury award.

2013

  • Montgomery, Pennsylvania – Pedestrian hit by and pinned underneath the street sweeper. The man later died of multiple injuries. 

2012

  • Brooklyn, NY – Pedestrian fatally struck by a NYC sanitation sweeper causing severe body trauma and death.  
  • Orland Park, Illinois – Street sweeper runs a red light causing an accident that killed a husband, wife and their teenage daughter. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed against Midwest Maintenance Systems, the company that owns the street sweeping vehicle.  

2011

  • Bryan, Texas – Man seriously injured when a street sweeper ran into the back of a pickup pushing it forward into a pedestrian.  
  • Patterson, NJ – Street sweeper causes injury car accident. City of Paterson to pay $165,000 arbitration award.  

2010

  • Orange County, California – A street sweeper made a large, illegal right-hand circular turn crossing four lanes of traffic. The rear portion of the street sweeper was left sticking out into the far left lane resulting in a fatal collision. The accident victim died due to skull fractures, contusions and laceration of the brain sustained in the crash. A $2.75 million wrongful death settlement was reached between the surviving family and Joe’s Street Sweeping
  • Brooklyn, New York – A 31-year old pregnant woman driving her three-and-a-half year old son to daycare was hit by a New York City, Department of Sanitation street sweeper vehicle that caused the accident by turning across multiple lanes of traffic. The case later settled for $140,000.  

Contact Our Experienced Legal Team For More Information

If you or a loved one has suffered harm as a result of a negligent driver of a commercial street sweeper, you may need an experienced team of attorneys on your side who have a successful track record handling similar types of cases. The team of attorneys at Davis Law Group was successful in helping recover a $4 million settlement on behalf of a family who suffered the wrongful death of a loving husband and father in 2018. 

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of all kinds of accidents involving commercial trucks and other vehicles. We offer a free legal consultation to injured victims and their loved ones, so call our office today at (206) 727-4000 to request a complimentary case review and to learn more about your legal rights. 

Chris Davis
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Christopher M. Davis is principal attorney and founder of Davis Law Group, P.S. in Seattle, WA.
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