Are Delivery Services Causing More Car Accidents?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic exacerbated an already booming trend for consumers to access the marketplace through online shopping and home delivery apps. When lockdowns were recommended throughout the country, people began to depend even more heavily on home delivery not only for consumer goods from online retailers such as Amazon and other merchants, but also for local deliveries of groceries and take-out meals. The uptick in home deliveries happened in urban and rural areas and in all types of communities. With the rise in deliveries, naturally came a rise in delivery vehicles. The increase of delivery vehicles added to the number of automobiles on the roads, which inescapably caused an increase in car accidents.
Although it is true that any increase in the number of vehicles traveling simultaneously in the same local area inevitably leads to a higher likelihood of accidents, there are some habits of delivery drivers that create an even greater risk of accidents. These are described below.
As mentioned, one of the most influential factors behind increased car accident activity is the presence of more vehicles in the same area. When it comes to delivery vehicles, many times they increase road congestion during rush hours when accidents are already more likely.
Time Pressure-Induced Risky Driving
When delivery drivers are being monitored by their employers, they are under pressure to make their delivery goals in specified timeframes. When traffic snarls, detours, or other hold-ups push them back, delivery drivers may try to make up time by flouting traffic rules and taking chances with road safety, such as speeding or neglecting to yield at stop signs, crosswalks, or yellow traffic lights. Drivers may also become distracted with the tracking and delivery gadgets that they use in their work, especially when they are feeling compelled to multitask in order to get their productivity goals back on track.
Delivery Routes on Unfamiliar Roads
Many delivery drivers must travel on unfamiliar roads to get to their delivery destination, which may involve confusing road markings or unclear road access. This confusion can cause wrong-way or back-up accidents. When making home deliveries, these drivers are obviously going to operate on residential roads, which increases the chances that one of these big trucks or vans will create risks for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others, including risks to pets and children.
Delivery drivers who are highly focused on making good time may create accident risks by parking in such a way that endangers other road users. Double parking or temporarily stopping to make a delivery on a two-lane highway can cause other drivers to become involved in an accident while trying to get around the parked delivery vehicle.
Whereas delivery drivers for retailers may have meticulous schedules to keep, some app-based delivery drivers for services that handle local take-out orders spend a lot of their time, as much as 50 percent by some estimates, deadheading, or waiting for orders to come in through the app. Since these drivers cannot know where their next order will come from, they often drive aimlessly around the local area, adding to traffic problems and the odds of having an accident.
Washington DC Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Represent Clients Hurt in Accidents with Delivery Vehicles
If you were seriously injured in an accident with a delivery truck or van, you should be able to collect compensation for the losses you incurred in the incident. The Washington DC car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can help you understand what kind of compensation you are due based on the damages you have suffered. We can help you understand your rights and represent your interests in settlement negotiations or, if necessary, in court. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, DC, we work with car accident victims in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, and Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.