A 2019 investigation by Propublica linked vehicle accidents by Amazon drivers to the tremendous pressure Amazon places on its drivers to meet delivery deadlines. Notably, this link was discovered even before the pandemic, which caused a huge increase in online purchases and deliveries. In most cases Amazon will avoid direct liability for these accidents. Third-party subcontractors that haul packages for Amazon are considered liable and will often be the party that is sued for damages.
Several years ago Amazon began contracting with independent delivery firms in order to meet seasonal demand. These firms currently provide up to 2,000 independent drivers who act as contractors delivering millions of packages to the different households each day. These drivers are dispatched to different locations as part of the growing fleet of Amazon drivers. This business model was seen as one that could revamp the delivery service culture by providing on-line shoppers with rapid door stop delivery that consistently beats both USPS and FEDEX.
To some observers Amazon’s oppressive workflow and delivery time constraints has led to reckless homicides and other threats to public safety.
ProPublica identified a number of actions that might work to reduce the number of Amazon delivery accidents:
Amazon drivers are currently hired as contractors through programs such as Amazon Flex. At present, applicants are not required to have any prior delivery experience which has resulted in a workforce that lacks the proper training to deal with the pressures of fast delivery service. One recommendation would be to require that each delivery driver have previous delivery experience. No longer should hiring be done on the sole basis that a particular applicant possesses a valid driver’s license.
An additional move would be for Amazon to stop contracting with smaller delivery companies with no previous delivery experience. Larger, older and experienced firms often work out of multiple locations and large fleets with the ability to conduct seamless delivery through tried and true systems.
Another suggestion would be for Amazon to get a handle on its logistics by first assessing the fitness of all of its contractors. For instance, Amazon should insist that each delivery firms follow a strict maintenance regimen for all of its vehicles.
In 2019 alone Amazon shipped roughly 3.5 billion packages. This created massive growth in its use of the last-mile delivery networks in play. Typically, these third-party courier companies had zero exposure to the guidelines and policies instituted by Amazon and worked according to their own independent guidelines. To curb negligent vehicular homicides Amazon should institute stricter delivery guidelines and uniform systems. For instance, punitive actions should be taken against drivers who are reported to have ignored road signs or drove irresponsibly.
A system that expects its drivers to deliver upwards of 300 packages daily puts undue pressure on employees, many of whom no have previous delivery experience. The human toll of this requirement has led to crashes that would have otherwise been avoidable. Such issues make it necessary for you to hire a qualified personal injury lawyer in the event that you are involved in an accident with an Amazon delivery driver. At Baltimore Accident Center, we are committed to helping you rebuild your life after the accident. Schedule a consultation today and be on your way to getting the compensation you deserve.