Is the rise of local delivery services causing more accidents?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2018 | Ride Share/Taxi/Transit Injuries |

New Yorkers have more options than ever when it comes to local delivery services, whether for groceries, products or take-out. Delivery truck accidents are also on the rise in New York City. The question is, are these issues connected?

The perfect storm

The average New York City shopper lives a busy life and delivery services can truly reduce your stress level. It’s no wonder sites like Amazon Fresh, Seamless, and DoorDash keep expanding, not to mention old New York standbys like FreshDirect. You can have everything from toilet paper to alcohol delivered right to your door for a nominal fee. But what is the true cost?

Now that we are in the thick of the holiday season, many more deliveries are expected. In addition, we have a driver shortage in today’s labor market, which means delivery drivers will be under pressure to do more with less. Some places are also hiring younger, less experienced drivers to make up for the shortage. Add a little winter weather, and we have the perfect conditions for an accident.

What are the delivery drivers facing?

Being a delivery driver in New York is not an easy job. Amazon delivery drivers, in particular, have made headlines for working under enormous pressure to get all those Amazon Prime and Amazon Now packages delivered on time. Drivers often work for a third-party contractor with Amazon, but Amazon is taking the heat for pushing drivers into dangerous practices. Drivers have reported the following:

  • Supervisors ignoring injuries on the job
  • Driving fatigued
  • Skipping lunch and even bathroom breaks in favor a bucket or bottle in the van
  • Speeding to make deliveries on time
  • Supervisors pushing drivers to compete with one another
  • Delivery schedules that are impossible to complete in an eight-hour shift

Although these accusations are specific to Amazon, many other companies face similar pressure. Both Target and Walmart have offered free two-day holiday shipping in an attempt to compete with Amazon, pushing UPS, FedEx and the US postal service to the limit. None of these conditions encourage safe driving.

What can you do to stay safe?

If you drive in the city, here are a few tips for avoiding an accident with a delivery truck:

  • Expect the unexpected. Delivery vehicles can make sudden stops. Keep a good distance behind them.
  • Stay out of the blind spot. Bigger trucks have bigger blind spots, so don’t linger there. If you can’t see the driver in the side-view mirror, the driver probably can’t see you. They also need more room to turn, so give them a wide berth.
  • Dont cut in front of them. Bigger vehicles needed a longer stopping distance, especially in snow or ice. Don’t cut them off.

There’s no reason for you to not enjoy the convenience of New York’s wide array of delivery services. But if you are out on the roads with them, take extra precautions to avoid an accident with a delivery truck. If you are injured by a delivery truck, however, you may have a personal injury claim against the company.