Shopping at Amazon and other online retailers has made life more convenient, but it has also led to more deliveries being made than ever. More deliveries means more vehicles on the road, and the added traffic means a higher risk of collisions.
At Burke Law in Irvine, CA, attorney Sean M. Burke has handled cases involving auto accidents with all types of motor vehicles, including delivery trucks and vans. Let’s take a moment to discuss auto accidents with delivery trucks and why these accidents happen.
Facts about Mail Delivery Truck Fleets
Detailed statistics about delivery trucks and collisions are not readily available, though we will be sure to share them with readers of our blog as soon as we can find them. There are, however, a number of telling numbers about the size of delivery truck fleets for some of the biggest delivery services in America.
According to 2018 figures from the United States Postal Service (USPS), the company had 232,372 USPS delivery vehicles in their fleet. These USPS vehicles traveled 231,843 different delivery routes across the country.
A 2017 article published in Automotive Fleet notes that United Parcel Service (UPS) had 119,000 vehicles in their fleet. At the time of that piece, UPS averaged 8.95 vehicle crashes for every 100,000 hours of driving.
Causes of Delivery Truck Accidents
There are numerous causes of delivery truck accidents. The most common ones our Irvine attorney notices includes the following:
- Driver Fatigue: Long days spent behind the wheel compounded by loading and unloading packages can leave delivery truck drivers feeling exhausted. This can cause them to fall asleep behind the wheel, or experience a lapse in attention or judgment due to exhaustion.
- Vehicle Blindspots: Delivery trucks have major blindspots given their size. This can make collisions with other vehicles to the sides or behind a truck far more likely.
- Pressures of Delivery: Delivering packages can be extremely stressful, especially given the pressures of dropping off overnight and express deliveries. The anxiety of the job can lead to speeding and other reckless or negligent behaviors behind the wheel.
- Vehicle Maintenance Problems: The fleets kept by delivery companies need to be properly maintained for the safety of the drivers and others on the road. Issues with the brakes, steering systems, and headlights must be taken seriously.
Additional Factors in Delivery Truck Accidents
In addition to the above driver errors and automotive problems, two key factors can also play a role in delivery truck accidents:
- Poor Weather: Rain, snow, sleet, and hail may not stop mail carriers from making their rounds, but they can make the journey far more dangerous that it should be.
- Bad Road Conditions: Potholes, tight turns, malfunctioning traffic signals, and debris on the road makes driving hazardous to all people, not just delivery drivers.
Who Is Negligent in These Crashes?
Determining who is at fault in a delivery truck crash can be tricky. In some cases, the driver is at fault because of actions behind the wheel. In other cases, the delivery company may be at fault for poor hiring practices, forcing workers to skip breaks, or for neglecting maintenance of their vehicle fleet.
We can consider the nature of your collision and help determine who should be held accountable for the crash and what damages to seek.
Learn More about Your Legal Options
If you live in Irvine and would like to learn more about your legal options following a delivery truck collision, contact a skilled auto accident attorney about your injuries. We can be reached by phone at (949) 644-3434.