NEW ORLEANS — (Aug. 9, 2018) — This time of year, there are two vehicles the average driver makes every attempt to get around on the roadways: a school bus and a garbage truck. Both tend to slow traffic while performing their necessary duties and are at risk of accidents if drivers are distracted.
As the new school year begins, Waste Management encourages drivers to take precautionary measures to keep students and the community safe.
“Safety lessons are great reminders of the risks both drivers and pedestrians take when school goes back to session,” said Waste Management Gulf Coast Safety Manager Tony Franco. “As a company sharing the same roadways with our community, it is our responsibility to promote safety not only to our drivers, but our customers as well. We would like to pass along the same driving tips to help promote a safe back-to-school season.”
- Keep a safe distance from the truck – at least 15 feet. Never climb on the truck.
- Vehicles like Waste Management trucks make frequent stops and often back-up, so don’t follow the truck closely while walking, running, biking or skating. Stay alert and listen for the back-up alarm with “beep-beep-beep” sounds.
- There are several areas where the visibility is restricted for the driver. If you cannot see the driver’s eyes, they most likely cannot see you.
- It takes service vehicles about twice as long to stop as a passenger car. Always keep a safe distance from a truck.
- Every Waste Management truck is equipped with a back-up alarm. If you hear this sound or see the white back-up lights, be sure to move out of the way of the truck.
- Watch out for children and be prepared to stop. Although you may see them, they may not see you.
- Cover your brake when you see children. They are easily distracted and may not stop to look for traffic before darting across the street.
- Expect the unexpected. A child’s field of vision is not fully developed, so they may not be able to tell how close you really are to them.
- Be ready to react whenever you see children near your vehicle. Children are not only small but fast. They can move into harm’s way in mere seconds. It takes almost 2 seconds for the average motorist to react to something not anticipated.
- Keep your eye out for bicyclists. Children are opting to ride their bikes to ride to and from school in the early morning and afternoon hours.
- Be alert around school parking lots. Teenage drivers are generally inexperienced and can often be distracted by friends, phones and music, ultimately increasing the potential for accidents.
Waste Management is dedicated to safety of our employees, customers and the community. Please drive carefully now that school is back in session, and when you drive around garbage trucks, please offer them extra consideration. We want everyone to return home safely to their families.