Delivery drivers make life easier for millions of people every day. They offer door-to-door (or mailbox) service so you can avoid the crowds and hassle of in-person shopping.
This popular form of commerce means there are thousands of delivery drivers on the road at any given time—and they all have a schedule to keep.
Driving on congested highways was bad enough before. Now, with Amazon Prime, DoorDash, and other almost-instant requirements, truckers and couriers don’t have expendable time.
It’s not surprising to see that accidents have risen along with the demand for delivery services. So how can we keep our drivers, whether delivery or personal, safe, and still enjoy the perks we’ve gotten used to?
If everyone would follow these three simple tips, the roads would be safer for all drivers and passengers.
1. Use Your Turn Signal
You hear lots of people joking about turn signals, but the reality is no laughing matter. This often ignored law causes thousands of injuries and fatalities every year.
Turn signals are especially vital for semis and big rigs. By letting the trucker behind you know that you’re planning on making a turn soon, they can slow down early enough to avoid rear-ending you.
How soon should you put your turn signal on? The laws in your state tell you the legal distance. However, keep in mind that a fully loaded semi carrying the average amount of 80,000 pounds of cargo is different from a typical 4,000-pound car.
If you see a semi behind you going at least 65 mph, it’s going to take them 525 yards, or two football fields, to stop their truck. It’s up to you to make sure those Amazon Prime packages aren’t derailed by your forgotten turn signal.
2. Don’t Speed
Violating speed limits is the most frequently broken law in the country. Most of us see the posted limit as a suggestion, and as long as we don’t go fast enough to catch the attention of a cop, it’s okay.
Combining fast speeds with congested traffic is an accident waiting to happen. Then, when you add the rush of a delivery driver to the mix, the chance of a collision escalates.
Speeding a Little Can Mean a Lot of Damage
JT Legal Group explains the statistics behind UPS, FedEx, Amazon, and other delivery vehicle crashes. They’ve risen substantially in the past few years, and with the demand for personal service increasing, this trend won’t change unless we do.
The extra seconds that you have going the speed limit instead of five or more miles over might be all that’s needed to avoid a collision. Know your stopping distance at the speed you’re traveling, and use it to guide how far you stay behind the next car.
Slow down in construction areas and when the weather is bad, and pull to the side when it’s safe to let someone in a hurry pass you. It could be a delivery driver on a tight schedule trying to balance safety and their job.
3. Avoid Distracted Driving
We’re living in an age of amazing growth and technology. With it comes the downside: distractions are everywhere. When you’re driving, the tiniest distraction is all it takes to destroy your life or someone else’s.
Minimizing Your Distractions
Stay focused on the road and remember that your license is a privilege, not a right. You’re putting your life and the life of everyone else on the road in your care.
Keep your hands on the steering wheel, and never text and drive. Your state’s laws could be lenient on phone use, but you should still play it safe. Use Bluetooth speakers if you have to take a call, and let the person know you’ll call them back when you’re parked.
Delivery drivers don’t always have this option. They must use a GPS system to get to unknown destinations, and sometimes they have to call a customer to find their home.
Anyone who has to use a phone while driving should install an eye-level mount to keep their hands free and eyes on the road. All drivers should get comfortable with voice-activated technology so they don’t have to touch their phone or look at it at all.
The delivery driving industry continues to get bigger every day. These people fill a need that you might not agree with, but millions of others do.
To help keep those drivers safe as they try to satisfy the demands of corporations and clients, follow these three tips. You’ll be glad you did when you avoid those last-second collisions.