According to the Los Angeles Times, Amazon planned to hire 150,000 seasonal staffers this year—which is a 50-percent increase from 2020—in order to handle the significant demand for purchases. Not only will the world’s largest online retailer hire temporary workers to help store, pack, and ship items from its warehouses, but it will also hire delivery drivers to drop off orders.
Online shopping has steadily increased in recent years. Consumers spent $126 billion online during the holiday season in 2018 alone. In order to meet demand, many drivers will deliver hundreds of packages each day and struggle to meet strict deadlines, especially when it comes to next-day and two-day delivery windows.
According to a 2019 report by ProPublica and BuzzFeed News, Amazon delivery drivers have been involved in over 60 collisions resulting in injuries or death since June 2015. The joint investigation found that drivers felt immense pressure because they had been running behind fulfilling orders and that Amazon generally avoids liability for crashes.
Many drivers also work for Amazon subcontractors. If a car accident occurs, those contractors are often liable, rather than Amazon itself. While many subcontractors carry liability insurance, their financial resources are significantly less than the online retailers that hire them.
Car accidents involving delivery drivers can have multiple parties, such as the driver himself/herself, the driver’s employer (e.g., logistics company or subcontractor), the online retailer, the loading company, or even the auto part manufacturer.
The following are several safety tips to consider when driving close to or near a delivery driver:
Give delivery vehicles space – Delivery vehicles and even freight trucks need a significant amount of space to safely maneuver and stop. If such vehicles have to suddenly brake, the momentum can be powerful enough to either collide with another vehicle or even tip over. To avoid being involved in a delivery driver accident, allow these vehicles to have plenty of room to operate and do not tailgate.
Reduce your speed – When you are around larger vehicles, it is wise to drive slower than usual. This is especially true if you are driving in poor weather conditions, such as rain, ice, sleet, or snow.
Avoid blind spots – Delivery vehicles may have blind spots that are larger than your average passenger car. Driving in a truck’s blind spot can put you at risk of being struck by the vehicle, so you must avoid these areas at all costs.