Life as we know it has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. How long the coronavirus will stay with us currently remains a mystery.
One significant way the pandemic has changed the lives of Americans is the way we shop. Gone are the days of packed retail stores and shopping malls. As more people opted to follow social distancing guidelines and avoid unessential travel, online retail shopping has skyrocketed.
How are online retailers keeping up with the demand?
The consequences of this increased demand for online retail can be felt on our roads. Many online retailers, such as Amazon, have been hiring as many drivers as they can to keep up with the demand, including next-day deliveries.
When online retail companies cut corners during busy times, they may be likely to hire drivers who lack proper training, experience and a commercial driver's license, or CDL. Unqualified delivery and truck drivers are far more likely than more experienced drivers to make errors that can lead to devastating crashes. These could include:
- Errors in judgment
- Poor handling of a truck, especially around curves
- Lack of awareness of others on the road and in blind spots
- Lack of awareness when backing up, turning a truck around or driving through a residential area
A shortage of delivery vehicles could also be problematic for online retailers during busy times. This could lead to some companies allowing drivers to use vehicles that are unsafe to drive, have not been inspected or have failed inspection. While this is illegal, some retail and trucking companies allow it to happen. All it takes is for the brakes to fail or a wheel to come loose for a catastrophe to occur.
Delivery driver behavior
Online retail delivery drivers often make hundreds of deliveries per day, many to residential areas. During busy times, drivers may be overworked, fatigued and stressed out. This could lead to speeding, aggressive driving and possibly drowsy driving.
Distracted driving could also be problematic for busy delivery drivers. Many of them use GPS devices when looking for addresses to make deliveries. When delivery drivers are distracted in residential areas, they may put pedestrians, bicyclists and others on the road at risk of being hit.
What can I do if I was injured by a delivery van or truck driver?
In 2018, approximately 43 Indiana traffic fatalities were caused by light trucks and vans, which are commonly used as delivery vehicles by online retailers. This accounted for five percent of all statewide traffic fatalities. Traffic fatalities involving large trucks only accounted for three percent.
With the sharp increase in delivery vans and trucks on our roads, we could see those numbers rise in 2020. When delivery drivers fail to uphold their duty on Indiana roads, the attorneys at Boughter Sinak will fight to hold them accountable and help crash victims and their families get the compensation they deserve.
If you were injured in a crash, contact us online and schedule your free case evaluation. We serve clients in Fort Wayne and South Bend.