Administrative/support/waste management/remediation

Most Americans don’t slow down for garbage trucks: survey

garbage truck

Photo: SunChan/iStockphoto

Washington – A recent survey from the National Waste & Recycling Association revealed that two-thirds of drivers do not slow down around garbage trucks, and almost 4 out of 10 drivers admit they feel tempted to speed past the vehicles.

The findings highlight the potentially life-threatening hazards that sanitation workers face on a daily basis, NWRA said. The organization commissioned the study, which was conducted by Harris Poll and included more than 2,000 respondents 18 and older.

The percentage of respondents who slowed down near public service vehicles included:

  • 77 percent for ambulances
  • 76 percent for police cars
  • 72 percent for fire trucks
  • 69 percent for school buses
  • 32 percent for garbage trucks

Respondents’ attitudes changed when survey administrators informed them that sanitation workers had a higher fatality rate than other public service occupations, such as firefighting, police work and paramedic work. After being informed of that fact, 90 percent of respondents said they were in favor of laws protecting sanitation workers, NWRA stated.

“Americans need to know that when working around inattentive motorists, collecting waste and recyclables can be dangerous,” NWRA President and CEO Sharon H. Kneiss said in a press release. “Drivers need to slow down to get around garbage trucks.”