Could higher demand for online retail lead to more delivery truck crashes?
Life has not been the same since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For several months, many Chicago residents worked from home, were out of work and avoided all unessential travel. Even as things slowly go back to somewhat normal, there are many people who will opt to avoid travel. That includes refraining from shopping at retail stores.
Could we see an uptick in delivery truck accidents?
One type of business that has been booming during the pandemic is online retail, particularly Amazon. The demand for products purchased online has driven the need for more delivery drivers than usual. This can potentially lead to an increase in traffic accidents in the Chicago area. Here are the reasons why:
- Companies could hire untrained or dangerous drivers. When online retail companies find themselves in a crunch, they may hire all the help they can get. When they hire drivers who are untrained, unlicensed, or have a history of negligent or reckless behavior, they endanger others on the road. Retail companies are responsible for hiring drivers with a proper CDL, adequate driving experience and safe driving habits.
- Drivers may be overworked. Retail delivery drivers could be delivering hundreds of packages each day throughout several different locations. With such a high demand in place, this could lead to drivers ignoring traffic laws and basic safety procedures in order to meet their delivery deadlines. When drivers are rushing through residential areas, they are at risk of hitting pedestrians and bicyclists.
- More unsafe vehicles on the road. Online retail companies, such as Amazon, usually have enough trucks to make deliveries on time. With the rising demand, there may be a shortage of company delivery trucks. This could lead to an increase in box truck rentals and use of personal vehicles. Online retail companies are responsible for ensuring that their delivery trucks are properly cared for and inspected. Many personal vehicles, however, may not be properly maintained or inspected. This could increase the risk of mechanical defects, such as brake failure, steering wheel failure, tire blowouts and wheel loss.
- Next day deliveries could lead to dangerous driving. When a customer asks for next-day delivery, online retail companies must follow through. When drivers have such a short amount of time to make several deliveries, this could lead to an increase in fatigue, speeding and aggressive driving.
- Distracted driving could increase. Delivery drivers could find themselves multitasking or checking digital notifications while driving. It only takes a split second of a driver's eyes off the road and attention away from driving to cause a serious crash.
What are my legal options if I was involved in a crash with a delivery driver?
If you were injured in a crash because of the reckless or negligent actions of a delivery driver, an experienced attorney at Coplan + Crane can help you recover damages for medical costs, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.
To get started on your claim, contact us online. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.