How Amazon’s Policies Endanger Civilians
Amazon is now the largest retailer and the largest package delivery service in the country, after surpassing Walmart and overtaking FedEx and UPS. The e-commerce giant has built an enormous transportation network, which includes Amazon Logistics, the Amazon Delivery Service Partner (DSP) program, and the Amazon Freight Partners (AFP) program.
Amazon promises its customers fast delivery, and it keeps that promise, but at a cost. Amazon drivers have a higher accident and injury rate, as reported in an article on CNBC. Because the company often sacrifices safety for speed, nearly one in five Amazon delivery drivers were injured in 2021.
How Do Amazon’s Policies Lead to Accidents?
Amazon’s delivery system is designed to ensure the fastest possible delivery while maintaining the company’s control over the process. Researchers found that the company sets unrealistically high delivery quotas, putting production pressure on drivers that leads to dangerous driving, accidents, and injuries, in a study conducted by a coalition of four labor unions known as The Strategic Organizing Center. Drivers who fail to meet Amazon’s production demands face termination. They are ranked according to delivery speed and completion rates.
In addition, the company requires drivers to use an electronic device called the Rabbit that gives them turn-by-turn directions and tracks them in real time. It mandates the use of the Mentor app, which monitors and scores driving behavior. Amazon is increasingly requiring the use of AI cameras that record inside and outside the vehicles and track drivers’ eye movement and yawns, purportedly to detect distracted driving. This system of monitoring and discipline by the company contributes to the pressure drivers feel to move quickly to meet delivery quotas.
How and When Do Amazon Delivery Accidents Happen?
Accidents involving Amazon delivery vehicles can happen nearly anywhere – on the highway, at intersections, in neighborhoods, and in parking lots. Many of these traffic crashes are caused by negligence on the part of Amazon delivery drivers. Common causes include:
- Speeding: Amazon delivery drivers under pressure to meet unmanageably high delivery quotas are tempted to speed, which can increase both the likelihood of a crash and the impact of a collision when it occurs.
- Distracted driving: Drivers making deliveries for Amazon may be distracted by the devices and apps or the AI monitoring systems the company requires, in addition to navigating routes, locating addresses, checking delivery schedules, etc.
- Fatigued driving: Amazon drivers are on the road for hours with unrealistic quotas that allow little or no opportunity for breaks. This can lead to driver fatigue, which means impaired cognition and performance and a higher risk of a crash.
- Impaired driving: When Amazon drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it poses an even greater risk for others on the road. Alcohol and drugs, including marijuana, impair reaction time, judgment, and driving ability.
What Are Amazon’s Policies on Accidents and Auto Insurance?
Amazon claims its drivers are independent contractors and denies vicarious liability for accidents they cause. Nevertheless, the company provides drivers with commercial auto insurance that provides $1 million in liability coverage for bodily injury. This coverage only applies when the driver is driving for Amazon. When a driver’s car is being used for personal purposes, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy applies.
If you have been injured in a crash caused by an Amazon driver, your best chance of recovering fair compensation for your losses is to have an experienced Long Beach truck accident attorney by your side. Contact The Law Firm of Joseph H. Low IV at (562) 901-0840 or toll-free at (888) 454-5569. We are knowledgeable, honorable, relentless, and prepared to go the distance. Our firm has won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients.