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Amazon Delivery Driver Accident Lawyer

Justice & Full, Fair Recoveries After Amazon Delivery Driver Accidents & Injuries

Amazon has promised to improve its safety record and reduce worker injury rates for years, vowing in 2021 to cut worker injuries in half by 2025. Despite investing $1 billion in safety initiatives and taking a victory lap in the press, Amazon has made little progress on safety, according to the latest reports.

That has resulted in real risks and lasting hazards that are continuing to hurt workers, especially Amazon delivery drivers. In fact, a recent report reveals that:

  • Amazon delivery drivers are getting hurt at an “astounding rate.”

  • About 1 in every 5 Amazon delivery drivers suffers a serious injury while dropping off packages.

  • Amazon delivery driver injuries have skyrocketed ~40% since 2020.

Amazon Delivery AccidentsRevealing the dangers these workers face and Amazon’s role in contributing to them, here is more on:

  1. Amazon DSPs Defined: What Are Amazon DSPs?
  2. What Risks Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Face?
  3. Amazon DSP Accidents & Injuries
  4. Amazon Flex Driver Accidents
  5. When to Talk to an Amazon Delivery Driver Accident Attorney

Amazon DSPs Defined: What Are Amazon DSPs?

DSPs are “delivery service partners” or small companies under contract with Amazon to make deliveries for the retailer. As of the end of 2023, Amazon has contracts with more than 1,700 different DSPs who drive more than 50,000 Prime-branded vehicles on U.S. roads.

DSPs reportedly handle about 50% of all Amazon orders, transporting packages from delivery stations and sorting centers to customers’ homes and businesses.

Even though DSPs are a critical component of the Amazon delivery system, Amazon classifies these delivery drivers as independent contractors, not employees. Effectively, that means these drivers are still technically employees of the delivery service partner company, not Amazon.

AmazonThat hasn’t stopped Amazon from exerting as much control as possible over these independent contractors, however, setting requirements that skirt, if not overstep, the boundaries of the law. That’s because Amazon generally requires DSPs to:

  • Wear Amazon uniforms

  • Drive Amazon-branded vehicles

  • Use Amazon-provided tracking and scheduling technology, like “Rabbit” and “Mentor”

  • Adhere to Amazon-set schedules that control their time down to the very minute in many cases

With this framework, Amazon has created a relationship with its drivers in which:

  • Amazon assumes deep oversight and extensive control over its delivery drivers, setting quotas and schedules that come with high pressure and back-breaking demands.

  • Amazon shrugs off as much potential liability as possible, attempting to put DSPs in the hot seat for any accidents, injuries, or deaths involving their workers. Watchdogs at the Strategic Organizing Center have called Amazon out for trying to “dodge responsibility for the human toll of its intense productivity demands.”

What Risks Do Amazon Delivery Drivers Face?

Amazon delivery drivers face several risks and dangers day to day. Beyond the standard risks of driving and being on the roads for extended periods, Amazon delivery drivers also have to contend with the dangers, stress, and pressures of:  

  • Outrageous, unreasonable, and “unmanageably high quotas for delivery drivers”

  • Long shifts with little to no breaks, creating “unsafe working conditions” for these drivers

Amazon Delivery Driver Quotas

Amazon establishes how many packages DSPs have to deliver every day, and some of these quotas are as high as 350 to 400 packages per day. To put that into perspective, meeting that Amazon delivery quota would mean that a DSP would likely have to go to extremes and:

  1. Work a 10-hour shift, at least.

  2. Skip all breaks during their long shift.

  3. Drop off a package every 1 to 2 minutes.

That is why watchdogs have called Amazon out for its “unmanageably high quotas” and the “unsafe working conditions” it has created for its drivers.

Amazon Sets Risky Routes for Delivery Drivers

Beyond the quotas, Amazon delivery drivers are also required to follow routes set by Amazon via a device called “Rabbit.” This tool, developed by and proprietary to Amazon, is connected to both GPS and the retailer’s inventory log, allowing it to:

  1. Scan codes to plan delivery routes.

  2. Plan driving itineraries for the day, based on the number of packages a driver has to deliver and the addresses of those different deliveries.

While this may sound helpful on paper, in practice, it has caused issues and even real dangers because Amazon’s Rabbit cannot update routes based on evolving conditions, like (but not limited to):

  • Traffic backups and congestion
  • Road work and closures
  • Motor vehicle accidents

That means that Amazon delivery drivers don’t have the flexibility to make on-the-fly changes to their routes, even if they know a safer, faster alternative.

Amazon Monitors Drivers in Real Time, Causing Distraction & More Risk

Along with Rabbit, Amazon requires drivers to download and use an app called Mentor. Intended to promote safer driving, Mentor may actually have the opposite effect, creating additional dangers for Amazon delivery drivers. That’s because:

  • Mentor can make mistakesReports of Mentor’s mistaken detections are fairly common. Specifically, this app has reportedly misidentified cellphone movement as driver cellphone use, penalizing drivers with an “infraction.” Drivers can who incur a certain number of infractions can lose bonuses and be penalized in other ways, compounding their on-the-job pressures.

  • Drivers can try to offset Mentor’s mistakes: Knowing how Mentor “reacts” incorrectly, some Amazon drivers have admitted to taking certain risks to try to get around Mentor’s mistakes and the infractions that come with them. For instance, DSPs have admitted to buckling their seatbelts in behind them, so they’re not really buckled up when they drive. They do that to avoid getting penalized by Mentor when they have to unbuckle to get out of their trucks to drop off a package.

Amazon DSP Accidents & Injuries

The many risks that Amazon delivery drivers face can result in all types of accidents and trauma. That includes accidents and injuries on and off the roads and, most often, painful events like the following.

Amazon DSP Slip-Trip-and-Fall Accidents

This is the most common type of accident that hurts Amazon delivery drivers. While slip and falls or trip and falls can occur at any point in the delivery cycle, they tend to happen when drivers:

  • Quickly exit their vehicles: Drivers can miss steps and fall out of trucks when they’re looking at addresses or checking for the fastest routes to a front door.

  • Hastily rush to drop packages off: Running up and down driveways, entryways, and porches commonly leads to stumbles and falls, especially when the weather’s bad, the ground is slick, or delivery drivers are carrying a ton of packages and they can’t quite see their next steps.

  • Hurry back to their vehicles:  Rushing to get back on the roads and stick to an extremely tight delivery schedule can mean tripping over their own feet, falling into trucks, or even tumbling into nearby traffic.

Struck-By Accidents

Amazon DSPs can get hit by objects in the course of making deliveries. Those objects can include items, like (and not limited to):

  • Fence posts
  • Gates
  • Vehicle doors
  • Garage doors

When these Amazon delivery driver accidents happen, DSPs are more likely to suffer head, knee, hand, and back injuries.

Dog Bites & Attacks

Amazon lets delivery drivers skip deliveries when vicious-looking dogs are present. That is not enough to totally avoid dog bites and attacks, however, because some DSPs don’t see dogs until it’s too late. With dog attacks, DSPs are also more likely to slip, fall, and fall into fixed objects too.

Amazon Delivery Driver Crashes & Wrecks

On the roads for 10+ hours a day, Amazon delivery drivers tend to have elevated crash risks. Those risks can skyrocket if DSPs do any of the following to try to stay on schedule or get back on the schedule Amazon has set for their deliveries:

  • Speed.
  • Drive recklessly.
  • Violate traffic laws.

Those are just some reasons why the average injury rate for Amazon delivery drivers is more than two times higher than it is for the entire courier and delivery industry.

Amazon Flex Driver Accidents

Along with DSPs, Amazon Flex drivers can also face serious risks of accidents and injuries due to the company’s policies, quotas, and working conditions. Unlike DSPs, Amazon Flex drivers operate their own vehicles, not Amazon trucks. That’s because Amazon Flex is sort of like Uber for package deliveries.

Through the Amazon Flex program, drivers who are at least 21, own a car, and have a valid driver’s license (and pass a background check) can deliver packages for Amazon as independent contractors.

Drivers for Amazon Flex can pick up hours when they have time, and they are required to use the company’s app for routes and delivery tracking, just like DSPs. Additionally, Amazon Flex drivers are subjected to quotas and Amazon policies that can contribute to risky working conditions and serious accidents and injuries.

When that happens, Amazon Flex drivers may be covered by the Amazon Flex Auto Policy. If they are, they shouldn’t expect the insurance company or Amazon to explain or honor their rights, let alone admit liability or pay full, fair compensation without a fight.

When to Talk to an Amazon Delivery Driver Accident Attorney

Talk to an Amazon accident attorney after any on-the-job accident. Whether you were driving for a DSP or the Flex Program, there may be multiple options for seeking justice. When there are, there can also be unforgiving deadlines for taking action. The sooner you talk to an Amazon delivery driver accident lawyer, the sooner you can get answers about your rights and how to proceed.