Americans love convenience, particularly in these unusual times. Online shopping and front-door deliveries have skyrocketed in recent months. Amazon is ahead of the curve with its promise of speedy delivery. That convenience for consumers comes at a cost, as more Amazon delivery trucks and vans can be seen on the roadways, and these vehicles are involved in more serious accidents.
How Does Amazon Delivery Service Work?
Amazon launched its same-day delivery service for qualifying items at affordable rates for Amazon Prime members. Customers who place their orders after 12:00 noon will receive their packages the following day. In its drive to dominate the e-commerce market, the company has made fast delivery a high priority. In an effort to reduce reliance on carriers such as UPS, Amazon has created a network of contract delivery drivers. But this network has come at serious cost to the consumer.
The Dangers of Amazon Delivery Trucks and Drivers
Amazon has contracts with many small companies for its vast delivery network. Drivers are under considerable pressure to deliver hundreds of packages in a single shift. In fact, a report done by the New York Times notes that they are expected to delivery 999 out of 1000 packages on time, allowing for an error margin of just .1%. On top of that, they work their routes under the directions of dispatchers, who push them to keep working without rest breaks until all the packages are delivered.
With their jobs depending on speed of delivery, Amazon delivery drivers may cut corners and take risks in their rush to complete their routes. The constant pressure on them to perform means that even the slightest delay could cost them their livelihood. As a result, many drivers behave negligently in order to keep up with Amazon’s strict standards. These drivers may cause traffic crashes in a number of ways, including:
Aggressive driving: This dangerous driving behavior may include speeding, tailgating, running red lights or stop signs, failing to signal, unsafe lane changes, and cutting off other drivers.
Distracted driving: Amazon drivers may be focused on talking to their dispatchers, navigating their routes, and dropping off the next package, instead of operating the vehicle. This is in addition to the usual driver distractions of talking or texting on cell phones.
Sudden stops or turns: Delivery drivers for Amazon are focused on finding the next drop-off location and delivering packages as quickly as possible. A driver may turn left or right suddenly without signaling, or stop suddenly in the road, creating a rear-end collision risk.
Fatigued driving: Dispatchers push Amazon delivery drivers to the limit to deliver hundreds of packages in a day. Until the last delivery is made, drivers may be discouraged from taking breaks to eat or rest, or even bathroom breaks. When drivers are pressured to work long hours without rest, driver fatigue is inevitable.
Negligence in parking: Amazon delivery drivers are focused on the speed of delivery. They may double-park or block a traffic lane in their hurry to deliver a package. Drivers can also cause auto accidents by failing to set their parking brakes.
Holding Amazon Accountable
Many private delivery companies work under an exclusive contract with Amazon. The drivers who deliver the packages work for these various, third-party delivery companies. This means that drivers delivering for Amazon are not actually considered Amazon employees, with the exception of their grocery delivery service. When an Amazon delivery driver causes an accident, Amazon denies responsibility. As the company does not directly own the vehicles or employ the drivers used to make deliveries, it can be challenging to hold Amazon accountable.
Thankfully, there are options available for those seeking compensation following an accident with an Amazon delivery driver. As the driver’s still work for the third-party companies, the smaller delivery company can still be held liable. While Amazon should take responsibility for the way they treat their drivers and the danger they put their customers in, at the moment filing a personal injury claim against the smaller delivery groups is the best way to recover damages.
If you have been injured in a crash involving an Amazon delivery vehicle, contact NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to schedule a free consultation. Our Santa Barbara personal injury lawyers have more than three decades of experience. We can tell you if you have a case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.