Key Points of This Article:
- Truck drivers who deliver freight often work long shifts and are under a timely schedule, making fatigue and distraction common causes of accidents.
- Amazon semi-truck drivers are often pushed to meet delivery timelines to support the online retailer’s demanding purchasing schedule.
- Several factors contribute to Amazon semi-truck driver accidents and include inadequate training, sleepiness, misinformed load weights, distracted driving, and truck drivers who operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- In some cases, Amazon and its outsourced delivery operations, have created an unsafe environment where it is acceptable for drivers to be exhausted, rushed, inattentive, and reckless.
Injured In an Amazon Delivery or Semi-Truck Accident in Michigan?
Some of the larger semi-trucks we see on the road today are filled with products sold by giant e-commerce leader Amazon. That is in addition to a newly branded Amazon Prime fleet of ‘day delivery’ trucks that rolled out in 2019 to allow the mega online retailer to haul its freight. Since, there has been a spike in accidents involving the bigger, heavier, and much more challenging to stop trucks, causing serious injury or death to other road users.
As online shopper and Amazon customer demand continue to grow, more of these large trucks are expected to make their way to one of Amazon’s 75 fulfillment centers or warehouses, 16 of which are located in Michigan in cities like Detroit, Sterling Heights, Southfield, and Ann Arbor. Accidents involving the larger Amazon trucks have included:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Broadside collisions
- Exiting-while-parked collisions
- Centerline crossover collisions
- Lane change collisions
- Loss of control of a vehicle
- Hit and run accidents
The large trucks often weigh 20-30 times as much as passenger vehicles, so it makes sense that most deaths and life-long injuries that result from these crashes are those of passenger vehicle occupants.
Injuries to passenger vehicle occupants caused by semi-truck accidents can include traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, neck injuries, broken bones, and amputation injuries are common. Internal organ damage and severe burns are more likely in semi accidents as well. After a collision with a semi-truck, victims and families may live a lifetime of struggle caused by ongoing medical bills and rehabilitative needs.
Set Schedules and Unlimited Packages Cause Fatigue for Many Amazon Drivers
Amazon’s truck drivers are expected to meet all deadlines, giving the global company a reputation of having chaotic and pressured work conditions, and creating an escalating pattern of recklessness and hazards impacting other road users. Drowsy driving, extreme fatigue, or even insomnia have all been claimed by drivers involved in previous road accidents.
- In June of 2020, a 22-year-old driver based out of Amazon’s Hazel Park delivery station in Michigan quit his job and made national headlines for leaving his truck with packages at a gas station in Lathrop Village. In a tweet, he announced, “I quit amazon f— that driving s— i left the van on 12 mile and Southfield y’all can have that b—- and it’s full of gas wit the keys in the IGNITION.” The man later told The Detroit News that he quit because, “I was making 200-300 stops a day, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was working from 9 in the morning to about 10 at night, and I couldn’t do it anymore.”
- A truck driver sued Amazon and one of its freight partners, alleging the companies “worked him into the ground,” for several weeks, eventually causing him to fall asleep at the wheel and crash, according to legal documents published in January of 2020.
Truck driver fatigue remains a well-known crash risk since many drivers are still violating the regulations and work longer than the permitted federal hours-of-service. Certain medications, drugs, and alcohol can also cause drowsiness.
Proving Semi-Truck Driver Negligence in Michigan
Amazon also fills the road with its electric delivery vans and works with contract parcel service companies to deliver over 2.5 billion packages annually in the U.S. These partnerships make it easy to shift blame in the event of an accident. But regardless, some of the possible factors in proving accident negligence remain the same.
- Improper load weight
- Brake failure
- Ignored truck or equipment maintenance
- Bad turning radius
- Bobtailing inexperience
- Jackknife risks
- Technical glitches
- Gear floating attempts
- Driving heavy loads on roads with a grade or incline
- Tip-overs due to excessive or unequally distributed weight
- Driving in dangerous weather
- Alcohol or prescription medications or recreational drug use
Truck drivers and trucking companies carry substantial insurance policies to mask unsafe practices that make serious accidents more likely. Gathering the right evidence and proving negligence can be more stringent than other types of accidents without experienced legal support. And seeking a fair settlement and the compensation you deserve without a lawyer can be frustrating and untimely, especially for someone already dealing with the costly consequences of their accident injuries.
A special note about COVID-19 and social distancing after a Michigan car or truck accident: If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or someone in your household has been infected, and in quarantine, it’s important to let the 911 operator know this. As you conversate with first responders at the scene, maintain the Center for Disease Control’s recommendation of 6 feet of distance from others. If you have a mask, please wear it or use a cloth covering. Try texting or emailing each other’s contact information and avoid shaking hands. Our Michigan auto accident attorneys have provided more information here.
Michigan Semi-Truck and Amazon Delivery Accident Lawyers
No one should have to pay the price for accident injuries caused by another driver, and the injured will need all the facts to prove negligence. If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by an Amazon semi-truck or delivery driver, you or your family may be entitled to compensation to help with medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. toll-free at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) for a free, no-risk consultation.