We all know that delivery services have gone up during 2020 for two big reasons: stay-at-home orders and people just generally buying into the convenience of shopping online. It’s common sense that there would be more truck drivers on the highways and residential streets. But with more of these large commercial vehicles using the roadways, what has that done to vehicle crashes?
In March 2020, a report from the National Safety Council stated that fatal crashes have gone up nationally 14%, and crash fatalities are up 17% in New York. This is surprising when the average consumer is likely driving less because of stay-at-home orders, working from home, unemployment and furloughs, and numerous delivery options.
Some accidents in the news
In addition to the fatal crashes, many accidents involving commercial trucks are resulting in serious injuries and fatalities, such as these recent incidents:
- Delivery tractor trailer for Amazon Prime crashes on New Jersey turnpike injures five and kills baby (Cranbury Township, NJ, June 27, 2020)
- Garbage truck crash injures three. (Syracuse, NY, June 22, 2020)
- Ryder Truck Rental tractor-trailer crashes into vehicle on I-90 causing injuries (Stafford, NY, June 3, 2020)
- Pedestrian struck by delivery driver in Orchard Park, NY on a Sunday night (Orchard Park, NY, April 12, 2020)
Commercial drivers include not only long-haul truckers such as semis and tractor-trailers, but food delivery services are also on the road now more than ever such as Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Bite Squad, not to mention every delivery pizza chain. Good delivery services such as FedEx, UPS and DHL are now commonly seen driving down residential streets. The Amazon smile painted on the side of trucks whizzes by. All of these increased commercial vehicles on the road add up to more severe accidents and more need for drivers to be cautious. The increased use of commercial vehicles during this time has added to the severity of crashes for several reasons.
Why you might be in danger
Understanding what it’s like to be in the shoes of a large vehicle driver may help you to know why you need to yield to them whenever possible. Three main conditions may cause you to be in danger when these delivery vehicles and other large vehicles are near:
Poor visibility – You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating. If you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you.
Driver can’t feel collision – In a semi-truck or even down to the size of a pickup truck, the driver may bump or scrape your car and not even feel it.
Time pressure and deadlines – Delivery services are in high demand and this leads to pressure to deliver more items in less time. This pressure can lead to speeding and less care for safety, which puts you on the risk while sharing the road.
Increased delivery windows – The United States Post Office delivers packages and mail sometimes on Sundays while in the past the service would be closed that day. Other delivery services have followed suit such as in the collision referenced above where the pedestrian was struck after 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday night.
All these factors point to people needing to be more careful – for their own safety – when driving and being near commercial vehicles. If you were injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, seek legal advice. The claims process may be complicated by the commercial nature of the vehicle and the driver’s personal insurance policy. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help ensure your injury claim includes all possible avenues for seeking compensation.