Americans have embraced the convenience of online shopping, and there is evidence that it is making life more dangerous for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
Not only do companies such as Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, and its competitors offer the convenience of delivering groceries, clothing and every other imaginable consumer product right to doorsteps, in many cases, they deliver these goods in 48 hours or less.
Recent articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker describe city streets jammed with double-parked delivery vehicles that block bus and bike lanes. This “push for convenience” is negatively impacting gridlock, roadway safety and pollution, The Times reports.
The dangers of fast delivery
In the New Yorker feature on Amazon, author Charles Duhigg explains that Amazon’s exponential growth over the past decade has resulted in the company contracting with courier services to handle the “last mile” of delivery. The pace of growth and the demand for drivers prohibits Amazon from demanding that its partners carefully vet their drivers to ensure they have safe driving records and are properly trained.
Duhigg reports the pressure that Amazon and other companies place on their courier partners to deliver packages on time is immense, particularly around the holidays. In December 2016, a driver contracted by Amazon in Chicago failed to stop at a crosswalk and struck and killed an 84-year-old woman. The woman’s family has sued the courier and Amazon.
Convenience cannot preclude safety
Traffic in Rochester and in surrounding communities in Minnesota and Wisconsin are no exception. Online commerce as well as internet-based services such as ridesharing and food delivery are increasing the number of vehicles on city streets and highways.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Rice University stated in 2018 that the emergence of ridesharing services can be attributed to a 2% to 3% increase in the number of motor vehicle fatalities and fatal accidents.
If you are injured in an accident involving a courier service that has been contracted by an online retailer or with a driver working for a rideshare company or food delivery service, determining who to pursue in a personal injury lawsuit will be a complex process. In these situations, it’s wise to work with an experienced injury law firm that can build a strong case and advocate on your behalf.
These cases often benefit by an early investigation of the circumstances surrounding the delivery schedule and the collision. It is best to get an attorney involved right away.