Delivery Truck Crashes: Legal Concerns
Delivery Truck Crashes

Delivery Truck Crashes

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Because of COVID-19, many of us are turning to online shopping for our groceries and other essentials more than ever before. Adobe Analytics predicts that online sales for the months of November and December 2020, in the United States alone, will reach a total of $189 billion. This represents a 33% year-over-year increase and sets a new record.

The increase in online shopping means there has been an increase in demand for employees at delivery companies (i.e., FedEx, UPS, USPS). Since there is such a high demand in the delivery industry, many times these employees are undertrained and/or under a lot of pressure. Especially after the holiday season, many of the employees of delivery companies are overworked. Thus,  it should come as no surprise that delivery truck crashes are becoming more common.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there are multiple potential causes of large truck crashes. However, there are 3 primary reasons why such crashes occur:

  • Issues with the driver (87%)
  • Vehicle issues (10%)
  • Environmental issues (3%)

While delivery truck crashes occur for some of the same reasons as those involving big-rig trucks, like intoxication, distracted driving, and violation of traffic laws, some are caused by the unique challenges facing delivery truck drivers. Some of the causes of these wrecks include:

Sudden Stops

Delivery truck drivers can make a sudden stop without warning when looking for an address to make a delivery. In this situation, the delivery truck driver may be liable for a rear-end collision, not the car that physically hit the truck.

Sudden Left Turn

In the rush to make a delivery, the driver may make a sudden turn when he passes his location rather than going around the block or otherwise safely turning around.

Backing Up

Like tractor trailers, delivery trucks have a large blind spot behind their truck. When a driver backs up after passing a building or house, he could back into another vehicle and/or object.

Parking Brake

Some wrecks occur when the delivery driver fails to engage the parking brake before delivering his package. These crashes are especially tragic because they are so preventable.

Improperly Secured Loads

If the goods to be delivered are not secured properly or the truck is overloaded, this can cause the driver to lose control of the truck. Items that fall off the truck pose an additional dangerous hazard for other drivers.

I’ve Been Hit. Now What?

Because delivery trucks are so much larger and heavier than most passenger vehicles, the seriousness of the collision will usually impact the other driver more than a typical car crash. As a result, delivery truck crashes can lead to particularly serious or even fatal injuries. If you are involved in a delivery truck crash here is what to do:

  • Seek medical attention right away, if necessary.
  • Call 911 and ask law enforcement to respond to the scene.  They will have to file a police report that will contain valuable information.
  • Get the driver’s name, vehicle number, insurance information, and any other company or personal information.
  • If there are witnesses and bystanders, record their names and contact information.
  • If you are able, use your cell phone camera to take pictures of the accident scene and your injuries.
  • Do not acknowledge guilt or responsibility for the accident.
  • Hire a skilled and experienced personal injury attorney right away.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a crash with a delivery truck, contact our team of attorneys at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C. today.


US online holiday sales to reach $189B this year, up 33% from 2019.


The Large Truck Crash Causation Study – Analysis Brief

Rachel Olszewski
Rachel Olszewski

Rachel D. Olszewski, an attorney at Scartelli Olszewski, P.C., is a dedicated advocate for clients who have suffered unjust harm. Following the legacy of her esteemed family members, Rachel specializes in personal injury, medical malpractice, and criminal defense. She is actively involved in professional associations and serves on the board of the Luzerne County Bar Association Charitable Foundation. Rachel is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania state courts and the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
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