What Happens When Amazon Pushes Their Truck Drivers Too Hard?
When any employee is working, they expect to take breaks and expect fair pay. But, when companies like Amazon and their third-party contractors push their drivers to their limit, garnishing their pay and requiring high delivery quotas, their employees will be stressed, exhausted, and distracted. In instances like this, delivery truck drivers will have a higher chance of accidents.
The last thing you want is to be on the road around large trucks whose drivers aren’t at the top of their game. So, what happens when Amazon truck drivers are put into this type of situation? We’ll explain some of the issues that have been happening surrounding Amazon, its third-party contractors, and its drivers and what you can do if you’ve been in a truck accident in Seattle or the surrounding areas.
Long Hours and Missing Pay for Delivery and Contract Drivers
Amazon has been garnishing drivers’ pay, withholding tips from Flex and third-party drivers, and forcing their drivers to work long, arduous hours with nearly impossible deadlines. According to a 2017 class action lawsuit started against Amazon by two third-party drivers, Amazon forced the drivers to work without lunch breaks while delivering between 150 to 200 packages each day. Even though these third-party drivers wore Amazon uniforms, followed Amazon’s rulebook, and were supervised by Amazon employees, they were never paid for their missed breaks.
This lawsuit was settled with Amazon and other Seattle-area delivery contractors agreeing to pay out $8.2 million, with $5.5 million going to all impacted drivers. In addition to this settlement, Amazon agreed to pay $61.7 million in withheld tips to its Flex gig drivers after an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). When anyone is worked too hard and not paid what they were promised, they’re likely to be more distracted, stressed, or emotional, which can cause problems when they’re on the road.
Amazon Drivers Monitored by AI Cameras
Drivers for Amazon or third-party delivery services contracted through Amazon are upset and distracted by AI cameras in their vehicles. These cameras, mounted in the delivery trucks, watch drivers’ every move, getting them in trouble for things they haven’t done, affecting their chances at bonuses or pay raises, and overall causing more problems and distractions for the drivers themselves.
While Amazon reports that its truck drivers are safer since the installment of these cameras, causing fewer accidents, etc., the drivers are seeing pay reductions and drops in their ratings. The drivers have complained that they’re being penalized for checking their mirrors and for other drivers cutting them off, and some drivers have resorted to wearing sunglasses or covering up their cameras in order to not get these penalties. This adds another layer of distraction and worry to already overworked truck drivers.
Higher Chance of Trucking Accidents
Amazon refuses to give an exact number of accidents their drivers have been in, despite all drivers being recorded on the previously mentioned AI cameras. According to a report from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), there were over 40,000 trucking accidents in the state of Washington from 2016 to 2021.
In the report from WSDOT, only about 27% of these reported accidents were the fault of truck drivers, and most accidents were largely due to a shortage of drivers or traffic congestion. With a combination of truck driver shortages and Amazon pushing its drivers to meet impossible quotas and withholding their pay, the truck drivers who are on the roads are likely to be overworked, distracted, and exhausted, which will only add to the chances of truck accidents.
Help after an Amazon Delivery Truck Accident
Going up against a big company like Amazon can be difficult and stressful, and the last thing you need, especially if you’ve been in a truck accident, is more stress on top of dealing with damages and possible injuries.
If you or someone you know has been in a delivery truck accident in the Seattle area or the rest of Washington, reach out to our experienced Washington Amazon delivery accident attorneys at Trucking Injury Law Group. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve.