Most of us love one-day Amazon shipping and the service is only growing more popular. One thing to consider, however, are the impacts of having more drivers, who are sometimes inexperienced or unqualified, on the road trying to meet their tight delivery deadlines. This is a fairly new problem that our cities face. Unfortunately, folks get injured every day by delivery trucks.
Since this problem will only increase due to the demand for online shipping, we are here to help navigate some of the questions that may arise as more and more folks are impacted by having marked and unmarked Amazon delivery trucks on the road. We want to do our best to advocate for safer practices and any clients who have been affected by the influx of these trucks.
If you’ve been hit by an Amazon delivery truck, call our office at (210) 960-3939 or contact us online. We can review the details of your case, assess damages, and go over options.
Facts Involving Amazon Delivery Services
Consumers using one-day delivery services have increased considerably along with the numbers of delivery drivers on the road and number of accidents associated with them.
- Every day, one in eight Americans gets an internet purchase delivered. In the next few years, this is expected to double which will have an immediate impact on the number of trucks on the road, and unfortunately, the number of accidents associated with them.
- Amazon has had to put more vehicles and drivers on the road to accommodate this growth. How many packages are delivered via Amazon alone annually? Last year, 2.5 billion packages were delivered. Now, Amazon delivers about 50 percent of its packages compared to 20 percent last year.
- With Amazon delivering more packages, this could also mean that the number of unqualified delivery drivers on the road has also increased in their efforts to keep up with delivery demands. In 2018 alone, Amazon put an additional 30,000 sprinter vans on the road to accommodate for the increased demand for one-day shipping. Unfortunately, with this increase of trucks on the road, the number of truck-related accidents and fatalities also increases.
- In 2018, delivery truck-related fatalities went up 9 percent nationwide, according to a report by the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Volpe Center.
It’s not going to get much better until there are safer solutions. We are here to help in the event that you are involved in an accident with a delivery driver, particularly one that works or contracts with Amazon.
Amazon Delivery Truck Statistics
Large trucks only make up 4 percent of the U.S. vehicle fleet, but are responsible for 7 percent of pedestrian fatalities and 12 percent of car driver and passenger fatalities.
While Amazon delivery trucks only account for a portion of this percentage, the numbers show that an increase of drivers on the road and push for faster delivery services has inevitably caused an increase in the number of crashes and fatalities.
Inexperience may be another factor that has contributed to the increase of Amazon delivery truck crashes. Unlike UPS and FedEx drivers who generally follow the same routes, Amazon delivery drivers are given different destinations and must rely upon their personal phones daily. This unfamiliarity can contribute to an increased amount of risk in an already dangerous job. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, delivery truck driver is one of the more dangerous jobs in the country.
This fact is in stark contrast to an Amazon advertisement that touts, “Logistics experience not required” in an effort to get more delivery contract businesses started. These contract businesses can start and manage their own fleets of drivers. Already, individuals providing these services have been involved in a number of fatalities and injuries associated with their drivers.
Amazon’s contractor program, Flex, is an app similar to Uber and Lyft that allows individuals to sign up to deliver using their own personal vehicles, vans, etc. These individuals are considered independent contractors. Amazon will not disclose the number of contractors that currently deliver, however, researchers at Cowen estimate that in 2015, UPS and the United States Postal Service handled 91 percent of Amazon’s domestic deliveries, while contractors and DHL had less than 3 percent. Amazon’s network of contractors will handle 23 percent of its American deliveries this year, Cowen estimates, and 43 percent by 2024.”
While professionally trained delivery drivers undergo months of training and driving simulations, Amazon Flex drivers watch instructional videos on their phones and receive a printed on-boarding course with one page devoted to defensive driving.
All of these contractor services have become critical in ensuring that Amazon can keep its one-day delivery promises upheld. It has also allowed Amazon to keep its costs down and to add additional drivers to its force easily.
Since 2016, Amazon delivery drivers have been responsible for 10 deaths and over 60 serious accidents. This does not account for drivers who never disclose that they, indeed, deliver for Amazon. As we face an increase in these contractors on the road, inevitably the number of injuries and fatalities will also rise.
Amazon May Be Held Liable for Negligent Hiring
Even though Amazon has tried to shield itself from many areas of liability, there is one area of responsibility such companies may be unable to avoid. That comes with their hiring processes and procedures and it may be possible to hold such a company responsible for negligent hiring practices if it can be proven that they hired a driver with any of the following in their background:
- A record of dangerous driving
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- A suspended license
- A known medical condition that makes driving unsafe
Since the impact of Amazon’s delivery services is still developing, the laws surrounding their potential liability are still up for debate as well, which means we can help determine how the law forms around these important issues. Anyone who has been injured in an accident caused by the driver of a delivery truck should consider working with an attorney who understands the issues related to determining liability. An attorney can help get you the compensation needed to return your life to something as close to “normal” as possible. Most times, these drivers and their insurance companies will not disclose that they are contractors for Amazon so hiring an attorney is also pertinent to uncover further liability.
Based on the complications contained in the driver’s contracts and their insurance coverage, you need an experienced attorney to help you determine liability issues and to negotiate with the insurance company or companies, who will always try to limit their payout to anyone.
How is Fault Determined in an Accident With an Amazon Delivery Driver?
Some folks involved in car accidents with Amazon delivery drivers choose to not get legal representation in filing their claim against the other involved person’s insurance company. Many times, these individuals never determine that Amazon is involved. Because many Amazon delivery drivers are contractors with unmarked cars and insurance companies aren’t prone to disclose these details, fault is often never placed on Amazon.
Texas is a “fault” state, meaning that Texas law holds the at-fault party liable for compensating the injured party. To put it simply, whoever causes the car crash is responsible for paying all related damages. Sometimes it can be easy determining fault in an auto accident, and sometimes it can be very difficult. Proving fault is all based on evidence.
What Should You Do if You’ve Been Involved in an Accident With an Amazon Delivery Truck?
We recommend that you reach out to an attorney with experience handling Amazon delivery truck accidents. As we’ve mentioned, liability is often hard to uncover and many of these drivers and their insurance, if they have it, will not disclose that they drive for Amazon.
Contact Us Today for Legal Representation
If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident with an Amazon delivery truck, do not hesitate to contact our firm. Justin Hill is an experienced truck accident attorney who will fight for your rights to compensation. Call Hill Law Firm today at (210) 960-3939 or message us through an online contact form.