Online ordering and at-home delivery services were already becoming very popular, but the events of the last few years have changed everything. Today, it’s almost as fast and often easier to get whatever you need delivered right to your door instead of going out and hunting it down.
In some ways, that’s wonderful. On the other hand, the sometimes wild increases in demand have led to serious accidents with delivery trucks. While these kinds of commercial vehicles aren’t nearly as big as the average semi, they’re still heavy and they can cause significant injuries.
Safety is often secondary to speed
Amazon, which uses both its own delivery vehicles and independent fleets of contracted delivery companies to keep its customers happy, has been in the news quite a bit over this issue in recent years. The internet retail giant has been heavily criticized for its policies that often force unreasonable quotas on drivers – a fact that has contributed to accidents and injuries, among other problems.
However, Amazon is far from the only offender. UPS, FedEx, the U.S. Post Office and private delivery companies have all contributed to the problem. Here’s why:
- There’s a shortage of drivers, so companies have been increasingly likely to put drivers on the road without adequate training or the proper certifications.
- Drivers are overworked and fatigued, so they are more prone to making errors in judgment or suffer from slower reaction times when navigating the roads.
- Drivers are being asked to make rapid deliveries in unfamiliar residential areas at all hours, which means they’re more likely to encounter pedestrians and cyclists – and they may be so focused on trying to find an address that they don’t even notice them until there’s an accident.
- The trucks themselves may be poorly maintained since there’s little time to take them out of service – and mechanical failures can easily contribute to a wreck.
The reality is that at-home deliveries pose a significant danger to everybody on the road, whether they’re in a vehicle or not. If you’re involved in a wreck with a delivery vehicle, make sure you learn more about your legal options.