Delivery drivers are sacrificing their safety to meet Black Friday and Cyber Monday quotas, and it’s only getting worse. According to Vice, Amazon delivery drivers report more extended and stressful shifts the closer they get to the holidays. Some drivers are out delivering packages as late as 11 p.m.!
Delivery drivers are already at a higher risk for work-related injuries simply due to the nature of their job. Adding in the pressure of peak shopping season and winter-related driving hazards, delivery drivers in 2022 are more at risk for motor vehicle accidents than ever.
Holiday Safety Risks for Delivery Drivers
Delivery drivers sacrifice their safety and health to get the job done during the holiday season. Not only are they exposed to factors that increase their risk for accidents, but the culture of speedy delivery encourages workers to take even more safety risks to meet the needs of their employers.
Vice reported that Amazon delivery drivers typically see their shifts extend three to five hours longer than average after Black Friday. They work round-the-clock, often on weekends, and this schedule can extend past the holidays depending on returns and delays.
One driver stated that 80% to 90% of delivery drivers do not wear their seatbelts during the holiday delivery season to increase efficiency. Drivers also reported missing lunch breaks and forgoing rest to keep working.
Additional seasonal road hazards that increase the chance of delivery accidents and driver injuries:
- Darker roads with shorter days
- Daylight saving time sleep schedule adjustments
- Snow and ice on the road
- More traffic due to holiday travel
Delivery Trends Putting Drivers at Risk
There are several trends in the delivery industry that are putting stress on drivers that have made past holiday seasons even worse:
Increased Online Buying
The pandemic has encouraged a lot of people to buy online rather than shop in-store. The most recent Annual Retail Trade Survey reported that e-commerce saw a surge of $244.2 billion more in online sales in 2020, a 43% increase from the year prior. The convenience of online shopping has continued for many consumers into 2021, and the trend is not looking to decrease much as we enter the 2022 holiday season.
Guaranteed Fast Deliveries
Amazon and Target are popular companies that continuously promise same-day, next-day, and two-day deliveries. These shortened delivery times put a lot of stress on drivers who must meet these quotas. With increased orders during the peak holiday season, these delivery expectations are even more challenging for drivers.
Some deliveries require drivers to hand a package to a customer personally. This requirement is often due to an item being fragile or expensive, but it could also be a customer preference. Hand deliveries slow drivers down, especially during periods of snow and ice, making their days even longer and more tiring.
Photo Delivery Proof
Amazon has a feature that requires drivers to take a picture of a delivered package on a porch as a confirmation to the customer of delivery. This process takes more time than placing an item and walking away, especially when the driver has to upload the image to submit to the customer.
How To Help Delivery Drivers
The work-culture delivery drivers endure during the holiday season is hard enough. You may not be able to reduce the number of packages they get, their work hours, or set expectations, but there are a few things you can do to make their jobs a bit easier:
- Salt your driveways and sidewalks to make it easier for drivers to walk.
- Do not select expedited shipping options if you have some time to wait.
- Avoid requesting hand deliveries unless necessary or required.
- If you request a hand delivery, be available!
- Leave your porch and driveway lights on.
- Try shopping in-store first to reduce package congestion.
Jacobs & Wallace CT Delivery Driver Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love is injured on the job, you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured workers. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.