Delivery truck accidents are increasingly common in Colorado and around the nation. As we rely increasingly on online shopping, such as Amazon, and grocery delivery services, the number of delivery trucks on the road will only continue to grow. Delivery drivers are also pushed to deliver more products more quickly, which results in drivers driving faster, more distracted and more likely to cause delivery vehicle crashes with other cars, pedestrians, bike riders and other people on Colorado roads. The size and weight of these vehicles makes it more likely accident victims will sustain catastrophic or fatal injuries. If you sustained injuries in a Colorado delivery truck accident, talk to our experienced accident attorneys in a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.
Delivery trucks are a common site in cities across Colorado. You can find Amazon, UPS and FedEx trucks all over large metro areas including Denver and Colorado Springs throughout the day. Unsurprisingly, you can also find news stories reaching out to all four corners of Colorado discussing serious collisions involving delivery vehicles. The accident statistics are a cause for concern. According to the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration, truck accidents have a double digit increase year over year. State-level data from the Colorado Department of Transportation tells a similar tale.
Delivery vehicle accidents are on the rise for many reasons, but a rise in delivery-based shopping is a key factor. Retail shopping increasingly occurs online with shipping executed through delivery services like UPS, FedEx and USPS, although some companies use their own delivery vehicles, like furniture stores and Amazon. The push to deliver more products puts pressure on drivers to do more in the same number of hours, which requires them to drive with less caution. Amazon in particular has been criticized for their employment practices and exceedingly high delivery expectations. According to an alarming study of Amazon drivers, 20% of all of their delivery drivers have been involved in an accident.
In the experience of our Denver truck accident lawyers at Front Range Injury Attorneys, there are several reasons why the increase demand for deliveries results in more dangerous collisions across Colorado. Let’s discuss the top ten reasons.
Top Ten Causes of Delivery Truck Crashes
1. Sudden Stops: A Hazard in Search of an Address
Delivery trucks often come to abrupt halts while searching for the correct delivery location. This unexpected stoppage can result in collisions with vehicles trailing behind, leading to unfortunate accidents. Delivery drivers are at risk of accident injuries caused by trailing drivers failing to maintain a safe distance.
2. Sudden Turns: Maneuvering Challenges for Large Vehicles
Maneuverability poses a unique challenge for delivery trucks, especially when drivers miss their intended destinations. The need for additional space to execute turns increases the likelihood of accidents caused by sudden and unexpected maneuvers. Delivery vehicle operators may cut corners, drive over bike lanes into bikers, or veer too closely to parked cars. These can cause dangerous accidents.
3. Failing to Engage the Parking Brake: Unintended Movements Spell Trouble
If a delivery driver neglects to engage the parking brake, their vehicle may slide uncontrollably into the path of others. These incidents, with no one in the vehicle to manage it, can result in catastrophic crashes. This problem may be compounded by parking on icy or wet roads and drivers parking quickly to make a delivery, not realizing the truck is parked dangerously.
4. Backing Up with Caution: A Necessity for Larger Vehicles
Backing up delivery vans and trucks demands extra care due to their unwieldy nature. Without proper attention, drivers may inadvertently collide with other vehicles, cyclists, or pedestrians, emphasizing the importance of cautious backing maneuvers. Drivers in a hurry to move on to their next assignment may fail to take adequate precaution and strike a parked vehicle or a roadway user with the right of way.
5. Distracted Driving: Amplified Risks for Larger Vehicles
The size and weight of delivery trucks make them more challenging to handle. Drivers must exercise extra caution. Distractions such as phone calls, texting, or other diversions hinder their ability to respond swiftly and safely to emergencies. Distracted driving is the number one cause of all motor vehicle collisions in Colorado.
6. Inadequate Training: The Foundation of Safe Delivery Operations
Delivery companies like FedEx and UPS must prioritize comprehensive training for their drivers. Insufficient training can make it difficult for drivers to control large vehicles, increasing the likelihood of accidents. Additionally, while large delivery vehicles require a CDL, vans and rental trucks do not require special licensing. If the delivery company fails to adequately train drivers to properly operate the vehicle with both a full and empty load, it creates serious danger to others. Businesses have a duty to properly hire, train and supervise employees, including drivers.
7. Inadequate Supervision: Monitoring for Safety
In addition to training, delivery companies should actively supervise their drivers. Identifying signs of impaired driving, fatigue, or other issues is crucial to ensuring drivers can safely operate their vehicles and minimizing the risk of accidents. Improperly supervised drivers and truck loading staff increases the probability of a dangerous accident.
8. Safety Violations: Adhering to Regulations for a Reason
Federal and state regulations, along with company policies, aim to minimize accidents. Adhering to stipulations like mandatory rest periods helps reduce the risk of accidents involving delivery trucks. Local delivery drivers, such as Amazon or UPS, are under fewer state and federal restrictions which contribute to the risk of harm by these drivers.
9. Improperly Secured Loads: Cargo Caution for Road Safety
Accidents often result from improperly secured loads. Cargo that is not adequately loaded or secured can impact a vehicle’s handling, potentially causing a crash. Moreover, loose cargo may fall out, posing a threat to nearby cars, cyclists, or pedestrians. Drivers in a hurry to make deliveries may not recognize when they’ve imbalanced the load in the truck. An imbalanced delivery vehicle can be more difficult to drive safely and carries an increased risk of tipping over or slipping on wet and icy roads.
10. Mechanical Failure: The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance
Issues with a delivery truck’s critical systems, such as brakes or steering, can impede a driver’s ability to respond effectively. Regular maintenance is crucial to prevent mechanical failures that could result in accidents. Companies have a duty to ensure the safe operation of their vehicles to avoid easily preventable crashes.
If You’ve Been in a Truck Accident, How Front Range Injury Attorneys Can Help
A delivery truck accident can result in life changing injuries, even at a low speed. Unfortunately, delivery companies often fight these accident claims aggressively both big and small. If you’ve been injured in a collision caused by a negligent delivery truck driver, trucking company, Fedex, UPS, Amazon, or another entity here in Colorado, we can help. Our experienced personal injury lawyers help injury victims pursue full and fair compensation for injuries, medical bills, lost wages and other damages. Let our law firm deal with the delivery company and their insurance company while you focus on seeking medical care and getting back to your life. We offer free consultations, so there is no risk and no obligation to speak with one of our attorneys about your legal rights. Contact us today by calling our Denver office or complete the contact form below.