At-home delivery of consumer goods has become a staple of American life — fueled, in part, by companies like Amazon and FedEx that make it easy to get virtually anything you can find online and have it brought right to your door.
All that convenience has a price, however, and not just when it comes to shipping fees. Accidents with delivery vehicles have been on the rise over the past few years, and that puts delivery drivers, people in other vehicles and pedestrians in danger.
What’s FedEx doing that Amazon isn’t?
Amazon has gotten a reputation for prioritizing speed over safety — and the bad reputation seems well-deserved. Amazon subcontracts a lot of its deliveries through smaller, independent delivery companies, and many of those subcontractors say they are constantly torn between meeting Amazon’s unrealistic expectations and ordinary safety concerns.
By comparison, FedEx is making safety a priority for its fleet — even though it may affect its short-term profits. The company plans to invest $100 million into safety devices for its delivery vans. It will even reimburse its contractors — who are responsible for about 72,000 delivery vehicles — for installing cameras and sensors that are designed to reduce or eliminate accidents.
The safety equipment FedEx intends to install will include camera systems and sonar devices that will eliminate blind spots and help prevent drivers from hitting other vehicles when they’re backing up. Delivery trucks will also be equipped with speed limiters, systems that help prevent forward collisions and devices that will alert drivers if they start to drift out of their lanes.
Accidents and injuries involving delivery vehicles will probably start to spike as holiday shopping gets underway. If you are injured, make sure you take all the necessary steps to protect your future.