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Top 6 Causes of Amazon Delivery Driver Injuries

Find Out How Amazon Delivery Drivers Get Hurt On & Off the Roads

Amazon delivery drivers could have the riskiest work in the courier industry, the latest reports show. That’s because Amazon delivery driver injuries have skyrocketed recently, soaring 38% since 2021. With that, at least 1 in 5 Amazon delivery drivers are hurt on the job annually. Often, those injuries are serious — and underreported by Amazon.  

Most Common Amazon Delivery Driver Accidents & Injuries

Painful and debilitating, Amazon driver injuries are often the result of:

  • Accidents in and outside of delivery trucks: These incidents may involve the delivery driver alone or others nearby, and they can occur on the roads, sidewalks, walkways up to properties, front porches, and at property entrances.

  • Amazon quotas, monitoring, and policies: Amazon sets “unmanageably high quotas for delivery drivers,” all while tracking drivers’ movements and setting their routes. That combination of factors has created an ever-growing “production pressure” that’s “causing both dangerous driving and driver injuries,” industry watchdogs say.

Here’s how these factors can contribute to Amazon delivery driver injuries and the types of trauma typically sustained.

1. Falling Accidents

Amazon delivery drivers can slip, trip, and fall as they hustle to drop off packages and move from one drop-off point to the next.

That’s occurring at an astonishing frequency, in fact, as falls are a top cause of Amazon delivery driver injuries, according to Pinnacol Assurance, Colorado’s largest provider of workers’ compensation coverage. Specifically, Pinnacol Assurance has reported that falling accidents are the number one injury-causing incident associated with claims filed by Amazon delivery drivers.

Amazon Driver Brain Injuries & TBIsNo matter where drivers fall, they can sustain minor to severe injuries, like (and not limited to):

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs): Concussions, brain hemorrhaging, and skull fractures can all cause TBIs and lasting damage.

  • Neck injuries: Whiplash, neck strains, and neck fractures can occur with same-level falls, falls down stairways, or falls off of the back of Amazon delivery trucks.

  • Back injuries: Often present with neck injuries, the back injuries that Amazon drivers suffer when they fall down can leave them with herniated discs, back strains, and back fractures.

  • Dislocations: Joint dislocations can happen as delivery drivers slip or try to catch themselves during a fall.

  • Bone fractures: Along with skull, neck, and back fractures, Amazon delivery drivers can suffer broken wrists, fingers, ankles, and more in falls.

While the pressures and requirements Amazon puts on its delivery drivers can contribute to falls, so can other factors and potential hazards like (and not limited to):

  • Uneven or cracked sidewalks
  • Slippery walkways, especially after adverse weather
  • Broken stairs, stairway railings, or security gates
  • Potholes, clutter, and debris in the middle of walkways or driveways
  • Poor lighting on the streets and/or around drop-off locations

2. Animal Attacks

Amazon Driver Dog BitesDog bites and animal attacks are another source of many Amazon delivery driver injuries. With this trauma, drivers can end up suffering:

  • Disfigurement and scarring: Wounds can leave behind scars and other disfiguring injuries that irreversibly alter a victim’s appearance. That can result in psychological trauma and lasting impacts on quality of life.

  • Loss of limbs: Amputations may be necessary with extensive damage to an appendage. This can include partial loss of appendages too, like amputations of a forearm or a foot.

  • Severe lacerations: Bites and struggles can cause deep cuts that may tear muscles, require stitches, and result in permanent damage.

  • Other injuries: Nerve damage, blindness, and infections are just some of the other injuries that Amazon delivery drivers can sustain when they’re attacked by dogs or other animals at drop-off locations.

Notably, Amazon does have policies that give its delivery drivers the option to skip deliveries when dangerous-looking animals may be present. That doesn’t always stop dog bites and animal attacks from occurring, however, because drivers may not see dogs until the last minute. At that point, drivers may not have time to prevent an attack. This tends to happen when:

  • Animals are not properly contained at a given property.
  • Dogs are kept in areas of the yard that are not visible from the street.
  • Amazon delivery drivers are entering garages to make deliveries as part of the Amazon Key program.

3. Strains

Amazon delivery drivers are constantly on the go, rushing to make deliveries and sometimes carrying heavy packages in the process. They’re also sedentary for periods, which can create unique strains on the body.

With all that, many Amazon delivery drivers end up with muscle strains, including (and not limited to):

  • Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs): Carpal tunnel syndrome and other RSIs can develop over time, as the same physical movements take a toll on the joints, particularly the wrists and elbows.

  • Shoulder strains: Rotator cuff injuries and shoulder dislocations can result from a single incident, like an accident, or with time, as drivers lift packages, roll doors, and carry out other daily activities.

  • Back strains: Sciatica, spinal compression, and other back-straining injuries can make it painful to sit down and drive. While these injuries can accumulate with micro-traumas, back strains can happen when drivers try to lift heavy items, when they fall, or when they’re in motor vehicle wrecks.

Other strains: MCL injuries, knee strains, and ankle strains are just a few of the other types of straining injuries Amazon drivers can sustain while they’re making deliveries.

4. Traffic Accidents

Amazon Driver Accident InjuriesCollisions on the roads are a top cause of Amazon delivery driver injuries — and injury and death to the public in general. Like other commercial motorists, Amazon delivery drivers can have an elevated risk of motor vehicle accidents simply because they’re on the roads for extended periods day in and day out. These wrecks can be the product of:

  • Pressures created by Amazon: Facing “unmanageable quotas,” Amazon delivery drivers are often “hurried and rushing” while trying to “complete many stops every shift.” Trying to meet Amazon’s demands, some drivers have reported pressure to cut corners, violate traffic laws, and take risks that could cause wrecks. Sometimes, the pressures are coming from delivery service partners (DSPs) that hold contracts with Amazon and directly employ drivers.

  • Other motorists’ actions: Amazon delivery drivers may take extra care to be safe, only to get hurt in crashes caused by other drivers’ careless and negligent actions. Drunk, distracted, and aggressive drivers, for instance, can all end up crashing into Amazon delivery drivers and trucks.

5. Object “Collisions”

Stationary or moving objects can strike Amazon delivery drivers in the course of their work, also resulting in severe injuries. With these accidents and injuries, the striking object can include things like (and not exclusive to):

  • Power lines
  • Fence posts
  • Garage doors
  • Shingles or gutters
  • Traffic bollards or poles
  • Tree branches or other foliage
  • Other vehicles (when Amazon drivers are pedestrians)

Accidents involving these items are more likely to happen when:

  • The roads are not properly maintained.
  • Visibility is low due to poor weather conditions.
  • Commercial, industrial, or residential properties that are drop-off points are risky or poorly maintained.

6. Violence

Violent attacks target and harm many Amazon delivery drivers. That includes violence like (and not limited to):

  • Assaults
  • Robberies
  • Carjackings
  • Shootings

These attacks can be sparked by road rage, criminal intent to steal, and plain old confusion. In fact, some attacks have even occurred inside of customers’ houses after they mistook delivery drivers for intruders.

How & Why Amazon Underreports Delivery Driver Injuries & Accidents

AmazonThe incidence of driver injuries is astonishing, and it’s largely downplayed and underreported by Amazon. That’s because industry watchdogs report that:

  • Amazon classifies delivery drivers as “contractors” and, therefore, excludes them from its injury reporting.

  • Amazon relies on and points to “outdated injury data from 2020,” skewing the company’s safety outlook and sweeping many relevant injuries under the rug.

  • Amazon “has repeatedly made false and misleading statements about its own injury rates” and “how these compare to industry peers.” In fact, they argue that Amazon’s claims to be “about average” in terms of injury rates are “false.”

  • Amazon has been intentionally “cherry-picking and distorting data to create the illusion that [its] business model is less dangerous than it is in reality.”

Recognizing all of this as a “reckless disregard for the truth,” the Strategic Organizing Center has called on regulators to step in and take action against Amazon.

What to Do After an Amazon Delivery Driver Accident & Injury

If you’re hurt while driving an Amazon delivery truck, get medical care ASAP. Your health and safety should be the priority, and the sooner you see a doctor, the better the prognosis can be. Along with medical treatment, legal counsel can be another resource that’s crucial to victims’ recovery.

An Amazon driver accident lawyer can share more about your rights, the legal options, and how to seek financial recovery if you or a loved one has been hurt while delivering packages for this retail titan. While compensation won’t erase your pain or change what happened, it can help tremendously with the healing process, providing resources to cover treatments, pick up the pieces, and focus on the future.