Delivery Driver Safety During the Holiday Season
Under pressure to meet holiday demand, injuries become more likely.
The holiday season is the busy season for workers in many fields, and perhaps none more than delivery drivers. With gifts and packages making their way all over the country, delivery drivers are under a great deal of stress, and as in any job, overwork can increase the risk of injuries.
Our law firm is proud to represent the hardworking people who make the holidays happen. Follow these tips to stay safe on the road this winter, and if you've been hurt at work, contact Vellner Law today for a free and confidential consultation.
Safety hazards for delivery drivers during the holidays
Like anyone else who works on the road, delivery drivers are exposed to the hazards of the road every day. Vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries, as can slip or trip and falls while carrying packages and making the delivery itself. Lifting injuries, such as sprains and strains, can occur while picking up heavy packages. Some drivers are even the target of violent crimes such as carjacking because criminals may want their cargo.
During the holiday season, several safety hazards are increased, including:
- Low light and visibility: December has the shortest days and longest nights of the year, and delivery drivers work long hours during the season. That means they are routinely on the road well after sunset.
- Snow and ice: Black ice and other winter weather hazards can cause vehicle accidents as well as slip and falls while making deliveries.
- Time pressure: Given the number of packages they have to deliver in a limited time, delivery drivers during the holidays may be under pressure to cut corners on safety, such as speeding down the road or carrying too many packages at a time.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: Winter is hard on all vehicles, and delivery trucks and vans are no exception. Again, with the time pressure during the holidays, maintenance often falls by the wayside, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
Preventing delivery driver injuries during the holidays
Delivery drivers and their employers can take several steps to reduce the likelihood of injury during the holidays, including:
While on the road
- Drive defensively and avoid distractions. Drivers need to put their phones down and put safety first on the road. Employers need to establish a safe driving policy and enforce it rigorously.
- Use route optimization tools. Route optimization software can help delivery drivers avoid traffic and save time, mitigating some of the safety hazards associated with the holiday rush.
- Take regular breaks. Fatigued driving can be just as dangerous as driving drunk.
While making deliveries
- Don't carry packages in an unsafe manner. If packages are heavy, make multiple trips or use a hand cart. Never carry packages piled so high that you can't see where you are walking. In addition, don't climb in or out of the vehicle while holding packages.
- Use a headlamp or flashlight when making deliveries in the dark. Maintaining visibility is key to avoiding slip and falls, trip and falls, and other accidents.
- Wear protective gear. Safety vests, gloves, and reflective clothing can all help delivery drivers stay safe while making deliveries. Drivers should also wear shoes with good traction to reduce the risk of slip and falls.
If you've been injured on the job, get an experienced workers' compensation attorney
Workers' compensation protects employees throughout the course and scope of their employment, regardless of location. If you were hurt on the job as a delivery driver in Pennsylvania, whether you were at the depot, in a vehicle, or on a customer's property, you can file a workers' compensation claim, regardless of fault. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to pursue a third-party claim as well.
However, navigating the workers' compensation system in Pennsylvania can be difficult. The process is complex, and a mistake or missed deadline can jeopardize your claim. If you've already been injured, don't get hurt twice. Schedule your free consultation with an experienced Pennsylvania work injury lawyer at Vellner Law, PC today. With offices in Bethlehem and Allentown, we proudly represent injured workers in the Lehigh Valley and throughout Pennsylvania.