The use of food delivery service applications has increased astronomically in the past few years. And although using DoorDash and other delivery services is convenient, these DoorDash drivers can pose a threat to others on the road.
There are now over a million food delivery drivers in the United States. Although most are likely competent drivers, it only takes one negligent delivery driver to cause a devastating accident that leaves you with serious injuries. This page will detail some of the most common reasons why California DoorDash accidents occur.
Speeding and Taking Dangerous Maneuvers
DoorDash and other food delivery drivers are paid by each order rather than hourly or salary, meaning that the more orders they fulfill, the more money they make. Unfortunately, this means that these drivers are usually in a hurry and they face the added pressure of needing to please customers in order to get tips and positive reviews. Some will speed and drive dangerously to save time and arrive at their destinations faster.
Although speeding is common in the United States, it’s incredibly dangerous because it reduces the amount of time that a driver has to react when there’s an approaching car or obstacle. Going over the speed limit greatly increases a driver’s risk of causing a collision.
Other types of dangerous driving behaviors include:
- Aggressive driving: Aggressive driving refers to driving behaviors that are intended to intimidate or harm other drivers. Examples include tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and cutting off other drivers.
- Reckless overtaking: Overtaking or passing other vehicles in an unsafe manner can lead to accidents. This includes passing on the wrong side of the road, passing in a no-passing zone, or passing when visibility is poor.
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs: Ignoring traffic signals, stop signs, and other road signs can lead to deadly collisions.
- Not yielding when another driver has the right of way: When delivery drivers are in a hurry, they may turn left in front of oncoming traffic or may fail to yield when merging.
- Driving in a way that’s not suitable for weather conditions: Drivers need to adjust their behaviors to accommodate the weather. Failing to slow down or drive with more caution during inclement conditions can lead to a serious accident.
When drivers engage in any activity that takes their focus away from the road, they put themselves and others in danger. And sadly, distracted driving is common among motorists, including delivery drivers. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,522 people died due to distracted driving in 2021 alone.
The three main types of distracted driving include:
- Visual distractions: A driver takes their eyes off the road to look at a phone, GPS, another person, or other distractions.
- Manual distractions: A driver takes one or both hands off the steering wheel to eat, drink, self-groom, reach for an object, or engage in another activity other than driving.
- Cognitive distractions: A driver engages in a mental distraction, like daydreaming, talking on the phone via a hands-free device, or listening to music or a podcast.
One of the most common forms of distracted driving is texting, which involves all three types of distractions because it involves the hands, eyes, and mind. DoorDash drivers aren’t necessarily more likely to text than non-delivery drivers, but many still engage in this incredibly dangerous practice.
Additionally, many negligent drivers have caused accidents while adjusting a navigational device. Delivery drivers usually need these devices to find their destinations, and if they view the device or input a new address, they could cause a serious collision.
Driving While Under the Influence
Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs poses a serious threat to others on the road because it can impair your judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it difficult to safely operate a vehicle. Even legal drugs can negatively impact a driver’s cognition and cause a deadly crash.
Like with distracted driving, DoorDash delivery drivers aren’t more likely to operate their vehicle while under the influence than others, but this extremely dangerous practice is more common than you’d think and sometimes involves delivery drivers.
The NHTSA stated that 32 people die every day due to drunk driving. And 11,654 died in accidents involving drunk driving in 2020, not taking into account the fatalities caused by those under the influence of drugs.
Driving While Fatigued
Driving while fatigued can have similar consequences to driving while under the influence because it also can hurt a driver’s reaction time and ability to make decisions. Some factors that can cause a driver to become fatigued include lack of sleep, medications, untreated sleep disorders, and working long hours without breaks.
DoorDash delivery drivers work long hours and hold down multiple jobs, increasing the likelihood that they’ll operate their vehicles while tired. These individuals often work 12-14 hour days six days per week, so it’s not surprising that many of them have caused crashes due to fatigue.
How to Sue DoorDash
The best thing you can do after suffering from a DoorDash accident is to contact a delivery driver personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney will help you to file a claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver. DoorDash requires its drivers to carry their auto insurance, and if they were at fault, you’ll file a claim with the driver’s insurance company rather than DoorDash.
DoorDash does have an excess auto insurance policy that will pay for any expenses not covered by the at-fault delivery driver up to $1 million. When filing a DoorDash accident report, you need to contact [email protected], but it’s wise to consult with a personal injury attorney beforehand, as they can greatly increase your chances of getting the full damages you deserve.
For expert legal support in your California DoorDash accident, contact Sally Morin Personal Injury Lawyers at 877-380-8852 for a free case consultation.