Will Amazon’s One-Day Shipping Lead to More Truck Accidents?
New York City — In the last few years, Amazon has completely changed the way people shop. Love it, hate it, or feel somewhat ambivalent about it, chances are you have ordered at least one item from the site that bills itself “the world’s largest selection.”
One feature that has made Amazon so popular is its lightning fast shipping. In the past, individuals who paid for a “Prime” membership could receive free two-day shipping on most items.
Recently, however, Amazon announced it will now deliver many items in just one day. Retail experts have already predicted this will turn up the heat on retailers like Walmart and Target, who rely on in-store shoppers as well as online customers to make a profit.
Additionally, some safety experts have expressed concerns that a switch to one-day shipping will make the roads more dangerous.
As more consumers demand faster and faster shipping, Amazon must expand its reach by hiring more commercial truck drivers and putting additional semi-trucks on the roads.
According to one report, some Amazon delivery drivers report being forced to resort to unsafe driving practices to make all the required deliveries during their shift. Safety experts worry this will make the roads more dangerous and ultimately lead to an uptick in car and truck accidents.
Faster Shipping Means More Vehicles on the Roads
As part of its expansion to one-day shipping, Amazon also announced an incentive program designed to encourage employees to become delivery drivers for its new delivery program called Amazon Flex.
To encourage employees to sign up, the company said it will offer up to $10,000 to help would-be delivery drivers start their own delivery business. As long as an individual is over 21 years old and owns their own vehicle, they can apply to deliver packages with Amazon Flex.
Of course, this means more drivers on the roads — and drivers who are motivated to make as many deliveries in as short a time as possible.
As Amazon takes on more delivery drivers, it will also need to expand the number of semi-trucks it uses to move items from one fulfillment center to another. Experts say this could potentially lead to an increase in truck and motor vehicle accidents.
Amazon Flex Drivers Report Working in Tough Conditions
According to a Forbes report, Amazon Flex drivers typically report working in harsh conditions. One estimate stated that a driver who wants to deliver 200 packages over the course of an eight-hour shift would have just two minutes and 24 seconds in between deliveries.
This means delivering a package every two and a half minutes over the course of an entire eight-hour work day. Delivery drivers say this leaves little time for even basic breaks, such as bathroom breaks or stopping to eat lunch.
According to the report, delivery drivers also said they feel pressured to drive faster than the speed limit to make sure they deliver all their packages for the day.
In response, Amazon stated that its drivers make all of their scheduled deliveries during their eight-hour shift about 90 percent of the time.
Other potential red flags raised in the report included a story about a delivery driver who injured his hand by slamming it in a truck door while making deliveries. The report states that Amazon instructed him to continue making deliveries rather than seek medical care.
Drivers also stated that they were required to drive faster than the speed limit to make their deliveries on time. Many also reported close calls with other cars or children crossing the road.
Female drivers stated that they were required to keep a bucket and baby wipes in their delivery trucks because they didn’t have time to take bathroom breaks while they worked. Male drivers reported urinating on the side of the road while working because they were afraid of losing valuable time if they stopped to use a restroom.
Additionally, most drivers reported that they never have time to take breaks. While drivers are supposed to receive a 30-minute lunch break and two 15-minute breaks during a shift, the report said few drivers manage to fit in these breaks during the course of a regular shift.
The report states that Amazon denies the reports about poor working conditions among its delivery drivers.
Get Legal Help After a Truck Accident
Commercial truck accidents and accidents caused by delivery drivers are more complex than regular car accidents. If you have been injured in an accident caused by an Amazon driver or a driver who works for UPS, Fed Ex, or another delivery company, it’s important to discuss your case with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
You have important rights. A knowledgeable lawyer in New York will help you understand your rights and the options available in your case. Discuss your case with the best truck accident lawyer in New York by calling Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter today.
Prior results cannot and do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect to any future case. Recoveries always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case, the injuries suffered, damages incurred, and the responsibility of those involved.