As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, many families will make plans to attend an annual parade or two in their local area—or they may even decide to head out to a larger city and catch one of the more celebrated parades, too. Unfortunately, parade accidents with the trucks involved in the floats are quite common and both bystanders and parade participants can be injured as a result. This is what you should know about the dangers and what to do if you're injured.
Parade planners are seldom actually prepared for accidents.
A lot of parades are simply annual traditions in different locations and they've evolved with relatively little intrusion from official governmental oversight. That means that there are no real safety standards that local governments have to follow and parade sponsors are often ill-equipped for such planning. That puts people at unnecessary risk which could vary based solely on how much foresight the organizers have about safety matters.
The drivers of the trucks used for floats have to contend with multiple dangers.
Parade accidents can be horrifying because they often involve the large flatbed trucks that are used for decorated floats, which can inflict massive damage in a single incident. In addition, because parades attract everyone from the elderly to families with small children, the victims can come from all age groups and leave behind devastated families.
Parades also have other unique dangers. The operators of the trucks have to keep an eye out for not only the other vehicles on the route, but they need to make sure that they don't take a turn too sharply and flip over a top-heavy float. They need to make sure that attendants and enthusiastic parade watchers don't get caught up in the decorations and caught under the hidden wheels of the truck under the float. They also have to make sure that they don't lose control of their vehicle and crash into onlookers, which can be difficult if the streets are crowded, there are frequent stops to let bands play or cheerleaders perform, or pedestrians crowd the route.
Sometimes the truck drivers simply make bad decisions.
In addition, the drivers of the trucks sometimes just make bad decisions. Caught up in the excitement of the parade, they may forget ordinary safety precautions or take unnecessary risks. For example, in a 2012 accident in Texas, the driver of a truck float carrying injured veterans and their family members didn't wait until he had the clear distance to cross some railroad tracks before starting over them. He ended up colliding with an oncoming train, killing 4 and injuring 43.
There may be multiple defendants involved in these kinds of claims.
Because of the complexity of these types of claims, there may be more than one defendant possible. The drivers of any trucks involved in the accident, the owner of the truck used for the float that was in the accident, the sponsors of the parade, and the parade's organizers are all potential defendants in a civil case. If you suffer an injury at a holiday parade this year, click here for info about how to handle your case as soon as possible.