Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are turning to online shopping for our groceries and other essentials. Compared to last year, online purchasing is up 55%, and we spent $66.3 billion online in July 2020 alone. Someone has to deliver all of those packages, and many times the drivers are overworked, undertrained, and under a lot of pressure. It’s no surprise that delivery truck crashes are becoming more common.
Whether you drive a car and you’re worried about getting into a delivery truck crash, you are a delivery truck driver and you want to learn more about safety, or you were involved in a delivery truck crash recently, here are some things you need to know.
1. Delivery Truck Crashes Are on the Rise
According to the University of Alabama, a shocking 10,079 trucks and delivery vehicles were involved in wrecks in 2018 in our state. These accidents lead to 2,629 injuries and 121 deaths. Sadly, Alabama reported a 20% increase in truck crash deaths that year. While we don’t have data that tracks truck and delivery vehicle crashes during the shutdown yet, we’re expecting to see an even larger increase in 2020.
Companies like Amazon and Walmart have won our business by promising lightning-quick delivery times. However, there are reports that these companies (and Amazon, in particular) have pressured drivers to meet unreasonable demands, leading delivery drivers to speed, ignore stop signs, and not take breaks to go to the bathroom.
Notably, many commercial vehicle crashes are due to poor decision-making and driver error. Improper lanes changes, failing to yield the right of way, and tailgating are some of our top causes of truck crashes, followed by factors like speeding, driver fatigue, and distracted driving.
2. Most Delivery Truck Crashes Happen During the Day
You may think that if you drive late at night, you’ll be more likely to get into a truck crash. However, that’s just not true. In 2018, 50% of large truck crash deaths happened from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the peak time for crashes occurring from noon to 3 p.m. Additionally, Tuesdays were when most crashes occurred.
3. It’s Not Always Clear Who Is Financially Responsible for a Delivery Truck Crash
Did you know that, even if the at-fault driver’s truck is covered in Amazon or FedEx logos, they may not actually work for that company? Some companies hire independent contractors to handle their deliveries, but still require them to wear their logos and meet their (often unreasonable) delivery expectations.
Why do they do this? To avoid liability when a driver makes a mistake. When an independent contractor causes a crash, you can’t file a claim under Amazon or FedEx’s massive insurance policies. Instead, you’ll have to demand compensation from the contractor’s own policy or find other sources of coverage (like your uninsured/underinsured motorist policy or Med Pay insurance). An experienced delivery truck attorney can help you pinpoint exactly who is responsible for your injuries and demand the compensation you deserve.
What to Do If You’re Injured in a Delivery Truck Crash
You should always call 911 and file a police report after a serious delivery truck accident. This simple step can help you document the circumstances surrounding the wreck and get the medical treatment that you need. However, that’s just the beginning; you’ll need to do a lot more to protect your legal claims.
Before you make a claim with the insurance company, you should also gather your crash-related medical records, along with any information you have regarding the incident. This could include pictures from the crash, the delivery driver’s name and insurance carrier, and the names of any witnesses. Then, consult with an experienced truck wreck lawyer at Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys.
Our team can help you navigate the legal system and stand up for you while you recover from your injuries. We have a long track record of success, helping our clients get the answers and compensation they deserve.
Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Alabama and Mississippi’s Truck Wreck Lawyers
After a delivery truck accident, you need more than an attorney who will give you practical advice and a free consultation. You need a team that will fight for you, no matter what. At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we’ve recovered hundreds of millions for our clients, and we’ve built a reputation as one of Alabama and Mississippi’s leading truck wreck injury firms.
2018 Crash Facts. (2019). Alabama Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.caps.ua.edu/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/CrashFacts_2018.pdf
Bandler, J., Callahan, P., Burke, D., Bensinger, K., O’Donovan, C. (2019, December 23). Inside documents show how Amazon chose speed over safety in building its delivery network. ProPublica. Retrieved from https://www.propublica.org/article/inside-documents-show-how-amazon-chose-speed-over-safety-in-building-its-delivery-network
Crets, S. (2020, August 11). Online sales taper off in July as retail stores reopen. Digital Commerce 360. Retrieved from https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/coronavirus-impact-online-retail/
Fatality facts 2018: Large trucks. (2019, December). Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Retrieved from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/large-trucks
Large truck and bus crash facts 2017. (2019, May 6). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-2017
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.