On what was expected to be the busiest shipping day of the year, a FedEx tractor trailer carrying packages overturned on Interstate 287 in Mahwah, New Jersey. According to the New York Daily News (12.15.14), the driver was traveling on the highway when he lost control of his tandem trailer rig. The cab and the first trailer rolled over onto an exit ramp, closing the road for hours. During this time, FedEx employees reloaded packages from the damaged truck in an effort to avoid delivery delays. The driver of the truck suffered “minor injuries.”
The next day another FedEx tractor-trailer overturned on I-75 in Georgia, reported the Atlanta-Journal Constitution (12.16.14). FedEx sent a team to the crash site to assist with cleanup. No injuries were reported.
“The safety and security of our customers’ shipments, especially during this time of year, is a top priority,” said Jesse Bull, of FedEx Ground Public Relations as quoted by NorthJersey.com.
The hope is that the safety of company employees and other people is the highest priority for the company.
This season, FedEx projected making 290 million deliveries, up nearly 9% over last year. To handle all those packages during this season, FedEx was delivering on all seven days of the week and hiring thousands of extra employees, including drivers.
Truck accidents can happen at any time of the year. However, there are a number of factors that make holiday accidents more likely. For one, temporary employees account for a disproportionate percentage of accidents due to a lack of familiarity with job, inexperience, and inadequate safety training. A temporary dispatcher may send a driver to a wrong address. Temporary truck drivers may be less familiar with delivery routes and company policies. Many issues can cause confusion and increase the chances of accidents.
Even for regular employees, the risk of an accident increases around the holidays. For truck drivers, the tight deadlines to deliver packages may place pressure on them to drive more quickly and take shorter breaks in order to make deliveries. Rushing can increase the odds of driver error. Truck drivers may also be distracted by their own holiday plans, and this too can be a contributing cause to accidents. Tractor-trailer accidents are often caused by careless driving.
Companies are liable for the negligent acts of their drivers that result in harm to others. This means that injured parties may recover compensation from the business or entity employing the driver. Damages may include compensation for medical expenses, lost income and pain and suffering.