We all depend on those tall, noisy brown trucks rambling through our neighborhoods to deliver the goods we have ordered. In fact, during the Covid pandemic, these deliveries have been a lifesaver for some, allowing them to stay safely at home instead of making risky trips to the store. Whether you have ordered basic supplies from Amazon, Target, or Wal-Mart or are waiting on an essential item or special gift, the delivery truck is usually a welcome sound and sight. However, these drivers are often pushed to the limit and may take unnecessary risks to complete their routes on time. When a delivery truck driver’s reckless actions cause an accident and someone is injured, the driver—and often, their employer—can be held accountable.
Reckless Delivery Driver Actions That Cause Accidents
The increase in online shopping and demand for deliveries means that more trucks than ever are circling through residential neighborhoods and downtown areas. These drivers are on tight schedules and are often under a great deal of stress. This can lead to dangerous driving behaviors that cause catastrophic accidents. As you back out of your driveway, walk your dog down the street, or ride your bike to work, you could be injured or killed by a reckless delivery truck driver doing one of the following:
- Speeding. As delivery drivers rush from one stop to the next, they rarely pay attention to the speed limit. Instead, they accelerate as quickly as they can between stops to make up time.
- Stopping suddenly. As drivers work their way through a neighborhood, cars following behind may not be prepared when they stop at a house. In addition, drivers who are unfamiliar with their delivery route may have difficulty finding addresses and could stop suddenly. Both situations could lead to a rear-end collision.
- Parking illegally. Blocking roads, driveways, and parking lots to make a delivery can force cars to try to drive around a delivery truck and into the path of an oncoming car.
- Looking at a phone or other device. Distraction—whether job-related or not—is a major cause of delivery truck accidents. Looking at a phone or GPS to find an address, checking personal messages, and talking to a co-driver can distract a delivery truck driver to the point of causing an accident.
If you are involved in an accident with a delivery truck, it is important that you hire someone who can investigate the cause and hold the liable party accountable.
Delivery Truck Drivers Are Often Inexperienced or Untrained
Given the sudden increase in demand for delivery drivers, companies such as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon may resort to sending inexperienced drivers out on the road. Unlike commercial semi-truck drivers, these drivers are not required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and are not subject to federal regulations governing hours of service, vehicle inspections, and drug testing. Despite how difficult these high-profile vehicles are to drive, delivery companies may send new drivers out with very little training. In addition, new drivers who are unfamiliar with their delivery areas are more likely to cause an accident by making sudden stops or last-second turns. When an untested driver causes your accident, their employer might also be liable for your injuries.
Types of Delivery Truck Accidents
As large vehicles with big blind spots, box and delivery trucks are more prone to crashing than other types of vehicles. The kinds of crashes they cause are similar to other car accidents but can be particularly devastating because of the size of the vehicle. Typical delivery truck crashes include:
- Rear-end collisions. Sudden stops and unpredictable turns can cause a passenger car following a delivery truck to run into it from behind. While rear-end crashes are usually blamed on the driver in back, a case can be made for the truck driver’s fault if they were driving recklessly.
- T-bone accidents. Delivery drivers who are focused on their next delivery might not be aware of cars backing out of driveways or crossing intersections. When a heavy box truck collides with the side of a small passenger car, the results can be deadly.
- Pedestrian & bicycle crashes. Racing through residential neighborhoods and downtown districts, delivery drivers may not see people crossing the street or riding in the bike lane.
- Backing-up and lane-change accidents. Given the large dead zones surrounding a box truck, it is no surprise that many accidents happen when the truck is backing up or changing lanes. If the driver does not do so with a great deal of caution, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians can be hit.
These kinds of crashes can cause catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain damage, paralysis, multiple broken bones, burns, spinal cord and back injuries, and more. All too often, these injuries prove to be fatal. If you suffer a serious injury—or a loved one is killed—in a crash with a commercial delivery truck, you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, out-of-pocket expenses, and compensation for your pain and suffering. If a family member is killed in a delivery truck accident, you may be able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit.
What a Truck Accident Attorney Can Do
If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a crash with a UPS, FedEx, or Amazon truck, you need a New Mexico attorney with experience handling commercial truck accidents. The team at Keller & Keller will investigate your crash to locate evidence that the delivery driver was at fault and will also determine if the employer can be accountable for compensating you. Because we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not owe us a dime until and unless we resolve the claim in your favor. When you are the victim of a delivery truck accident, the first call you should make after getting medical treatment is to the experienced truck accident attorneys at Keller & Keller in Albuquerque. We are standing by now to help you!