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Amazon Prime Delivery and Serious Accidents

By Joseph Low on August 11, 2020

white delivery van speeding down the roadway

Fast delivery and online shopping have taken over our shopping habits, allowing us to easily order everything from diapers to TVs to fresh produce on Amazon’s marketplace. These on-demand services require a massive network of delivery centers, trucks, and drivers to keep up with customers’ needs. Sadly, this means California’s roadways are now packed with highly pressured drivers attempting to complete hundreds of orders each day, often while driving recklessly.

Requirements for Drivers and Contract Companies

Despite some misconceptions, Amazon does not directly handle most of their deliveries. Instead, to grow rapidly over the last decade, the company contracted a variety of local deliveries across the United States to handle most of their services. Because the e-commerce site has nearly achieved a monopoly on online shopping, it is hard for smaller contractors to pass up the opportunity to work with this massive corporation, despite somewhat questionable requirements.

In spite of just being contractors, Amazon holds a massive amount of control over third-party delivery companies. First and foremost is a strict adherence to tight delivery times. Amazon expects drivers to deliver up to 99% of deliveries on time, leaving little room for error, according to a joint report by BuzzFeed News. This pressure can—and has—lead to serious auto collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and other drivers, particularly during what is referred to as the “last mile” of a delivery, which is the critical delivery window Amazon holds its drivers to.

Alongside a large amount of stress placed on drivers, Amazon also requires contract companies to sign a thorough liability contract that states that Amazon holds no liability in the event of a collision. As a result of this, Amazon has attempted to skirt litigation in an auto accident and wrongful death claims, but victims can still file claims against the contract company.

However, to ensure you have a strong case against an Amazon delivery driver, you must first demonstrate that they acted negligently while delivering a package.

Factors That Contribute to Accidents

Several reckless behaviors can play a part in a delivery accident, some of which are due to corporate pressure to complete deliveries on time. Amazon and their contract companies are often evaluated on their timely delivery services, and there is little to stop an angry customer from leaving a negative review if an order is not delivered on time.

As such, drivers may be pressured to:

  • Speed
  • Swerve between lanes
  • Make rolling stops
  • Ignore stop signs or traffic lights
  • Ignore pedestrians’ or other drivers’ right of way
  • Drive fatigued or drowsy
  • Forget to safely secure packages or cargo doors

While most delivery accidents are due to driver error, there is also the risk of mechanical failure. Amazon delivery drivers often utilize Mercedes-Sprinter vans, which have similar designs to 15-passenger vans. These vehicles are often top heavy and require additional training and experience to drive safely. If not properly loaded or well-maintained by a mechanic, these vehicles can become involved in a rollover accident, which can put multiple other drivers at risk for serious injuries.

How We Can Help

At the end of the day, no one should suffer because a customer wants two-day shipping. If e-commerce sites like Amazon want to have expansive delivery networks, they should also ensure that every mile in that journey is safe for other drivers and pedestrians. Otherwise, everyday individuals can become injured in a catastrophic delivery accident.

If you or a loved one were injured by an Amazon delivery driver, contact the California delivery van accident attorney at the Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV. Attorney Joseph Low has extensive experience providing legal representation to victims who have suffered at the hands of large commercial entities and is not afraid to take your case to trial. Get the representation you deserve by calling (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569.

Posted in: Car Accident

"Joseph, Thank you for your assistance. Your understanding compassion & incredible expertise are admired & appreciated. I will be referring any of my clients who require legal help to you."
- M.D.