When we venture online to order fast food or groceries or maybe a new blender we may not think of the fleets of cars, trucks, and vans dispatched to ensure those deliveries arrive on time. But when you’re navigating the streets by bike, you could soon find yourself in the blind spot of those delivery drivers.
The convenience of doorstep delivery is hard to live without but as vulnerable bike riders on the road, our perspectives can change. Add more vans and trucks to busy, narrow streets and a bike ride can become a bad day in the hospital.
The City by the Bay Dangerous for Cyclists
Traffic from commuters and family trips can be challenging enough, but now delivery drivers make up a significant amount of vehicles on the road. It can be even tougher for a bike rider to find a safe lane.
Urban settings are the scene for 75% of all fatal bicycle accidents each year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 30% of all bicycle injuries are caused in collisions with vehicles.
Delivery vehicles are often bigger and more obtrusive on the road. Business Insider found that over five years, drivers delivering for Amazon alone have been in 60 car accidents leading to 13 deaths.
Common Mistakes by Delivery Drivers
One factor in some of those Amazon accidents was the GPS system used by drivers. There were cases where their guidance system recommended an unsafe traffic maneuver.
Delivery Drivers can be careless and miss spotting a bicyclist just like any other driver, but they often have additional factors distracting them as they drive.
- Distracted Driving – A driver on the job can get distracted while looking at information or directions for their next delivery. They can get distracted by a call from their employer.
- Rushing to Keep a Schedule – Driver’s often have a set amount of deliveries they must complete in a short amount of time. This pressure can lead to bad decisions.
- Reckless Driving – A driver can be fatigued from work or personal stress. Their minds can wander from the task of safe driving.
- Distracted by Payload – Drivers can have a van or truck filled to capacity, obstructing vision to parts of the road.
So Many Orders Out for Delivery
In the new normal of working from home, almost anything can be ordered to arrive at your door. These delivery services want your business, but there are also accountable to hire safe drivers and use safe vehicles.
If a delivery company’s vehicle caused you to be in an accident it could be more than just the driver who is held responsible. The driver’s company can also be at fault if you were injured by their employee.
There are dozens of delivery companies operating in the Bay Area currently. Some are newer. Some have been in operation for a decade or more. Here are just a few you might encounter while riding the road.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do I have to file a claim for an injury in a Bicycle Accident?
In California, the victim of any accident usually has two years from the date of the injury or from the date the injury was made known.
What if I wasn’t wearing my helmet when I was injured?
By law, a violation of the helmet law doesn’t automatically prevent you from getting compensation. However, a jury could determine that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet and most likely will reduce the amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.
What if I was partially at fault for the accident?
In California, a jury can divide fault between the driver/employer and the victim of an accident. Then the victim’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This is called comparative fault and it’s used in all personal injury cases in California including bicycle accident injuries.
Contact a Bay Area Bicycle Accident Lawyer
A bicyclist is always vulnerable on a ride. In the aftermath of an accident with a delivery vehicle, you can also be vulnerable. As you try to recover and work towards getting back on your bike, you may be in for the fight of your life trying to get that driver and his employer to help pay for your bills and lost wages. You will be up against a national corporation and their team of lawyers. You need someone who knows the law to stand by your side.
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base, and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.