According to a recent report by ProPublica and a story by the New York Times, Amazon’s delivery contractors have been involved in more than 60 known crashes and make up at least 10 known deaths since 2015. With more Amazon delivery trucks on the road during the holiday season, this study could be a sign of more of these types of truck accidents.
The report argues that Amazon is not taking enough responsibility for these accidents. Amazon argues that they take safety seriously. The company claims that it require it’s delivery “service partners” to have comprehensive insurance coverage. What exactly those minimum acceptable insurance limits are unknown.
Quick Deliveries at the Expense of Increased Truck Accidents
The number of independent contractors delivering Amazon packages is only continuing to grow. In fact, 2019 numbers are up almost 25%. In a recent Buzzfeed News story, one of those independent contractors hit and killed an 84-year-old woman. He claims that he didn’t see her during his pre-Christmas rush. According to Buzzfeed’s investigation, the driver faced pressure to speed up his deliveries from Inpax, the company that Amazon contracted with. The driver also claims that he faced pressure from Amazon itself. The drivers face immense pressure to get as many deliveries out as possible, with as few breaks as possible.
When the victim’s family filed a wrongful death sited, they cited Amazon, Inpax, and Gray as defendants. But, Amazon refused to accept any responsibility at all. All the while, Amazon still controls these drivers through an app. The company uses the app to dictate the order of deliveries and the routes they take. In fact, the app tracks the drivers and will alert the company if they fall behind. Yet, Amazon’s lawyer stated, “damages, if any, were caused, in whole or in part, by third parties not under the direction or control of Amazon.com.”
With the level of control of tracking its delivery drivers, it doesn’t seem like Amazon’s lawyer’s statement can hold true. Let us know what you think, should the law hold Amazon somewhat liable for these increasing accidents?
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