Amazon’s “Free Delivery” Can Extract A Heavy Cost In Injuries, Lives
In response to the retail business closings and “shelter in place” orders issued by both state and local governments over the past few months, there has been an increase in purchasing from online retailers such as Amazon.com. This surge in online shopping has placed tremendous pressure on the nation’s commercial trucking industry as it struggle to cope with this unanticipated increase in demand for deliveries.
In today’s post the commercial truck accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm describes how at least one online shopping delivery operation, Amazon Prime, has developed a reputation for knowingly forcing commercial truck drivers to violate federally-imposed safety regulations if they want to keep their jobs. He will then suggest a course of action for victims of these largely-preventable and often tragic accidents.
Most “Air Freight” is Actually Transported by Trucks
One of the primary reasons that online retailers like Amazon have such huge profit margins is that they do not maintain their own expensive-to-operate fleets of transportation and delivery trucks. Instead, they contract with commercial parcel delivery companies such as Federal Express (“FedEx”), United Parcel Service (“UPS”), and even the Post Office to actually deliver your online order to your front door. However, the typical consumer never pauses to consider how their purchases are moved from Point “A” to Point “B” to Point “C.”
Despite their reputations as air cargo carriers, national delivery services such as FedEx and UPS actually transport very little of their huge daily volume of freight by expensive aircraft. Instead, over 95% of such regional and national freight is transported between huge regional transportation hubs and any number of smaller local freight terminals by trucks that are either owned and operated by the company itself or, more commonly, by “freight-partners:” trucking companies or individual truck driver owner-operators who contract with the major carriers.
Since these major carriers guarantee their customers’ packages will be delivered within a certain time frame, there is often tremendous pressure on both “company” and “independent” truck drivers to deliver their cargo within a time frame that leaves little time except for the most necessary stops. This means that truck drivers must frequently exceed the legal speed limits or drive when, according to federal safety regulations, they should be on mandatory rest periods.
It is, of course, far too early to obtain reliable commercial trucking accident statistics from the COVID-19 epidemic era. However, sampling of recent commercial trucking accidents suggests that such incidents are increasing:
According to online tech news provider GeekWire.com, a Tennessee truck driver filed a lawsuit against Chicago-area Amazon freight-partner AAA Freight alleging that the carrier “worked him into the ground” by forcing him to violate federal safety regulations until he eventually fell asleep while driving and crashed his truck.
Another online tech news service, Buzzfeed.com, has reported on the abuse that Amazon Prime’s freight-partner divers have been expected to endure in order to maintain unrealistic schedules in order to keep their jobs.
The Buzzfeed.com article was later expanded upon by the New York Times and ProPublica and republished as “Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery Has Brought Chaos and Carnage to America’s Streets—But the World’s Biggest Retailer Has a System to Escape the Blame.” The article refuted Amazon Prime’s contention that it wasn’t responsible for freight-partner accidents, even though freight-partner drivers were required to install an Amazon Prime phone app that is capable of tracking a trucks location and a driver’s time behind the wheel “down to milliseconds.”
As mentioned above, there has been a marked increase in shop-from-home purchasing due to the COVID-19 epidemic. As a result, the nation’s commercial trucking companies are struggling to meet the on-time delivery demands of their clients. Given that the number of commercial truck accident fatalities was trending upward from that previous years, there is every reason to suspect there will be more truck accidents due to unrealistic delivery schedules placed on drivers.
If you or a family member were injured in an accident involving an Amazon Prime “freight partner,” or were injured in any accident involving a large commercial truck, you should contact the commercial truck accident, lawyer at The Doan Law Firm to arrange a free, no obligation, review of the facts in your truck accident case and a discussion of the legal options that may be available to you.
When you contact our firm, your accident case review and consultation with our commercial truck accident lawyer is always free and does not obligate you to hire us as your legal representative. Should you decide that a lawsuit is in order, and that you would like for us to represent you in court, we are willing to assume full responsibility for all aspects of preparing your case for trial in exchange for the final settlement that we are prepared to win for you.