Do you ever feel like you see an incredible number of package delivery trucks on the road - particularly during the holiday season? You're not wrong. UPS alone has around 119,000 vehicles. That's an average of 2,380 trucks per state --- though they are, of course, not spread out evenly. Now add that number to FedEX, DHL and other delivery services and the numbers of mid-size package delivery vans crowding our residential neighborhood streets increases every year.
After all, with online shopping more common than ever before, someone has to move all of those packages around the country. But with the increased convenience also comes an increased number of accidents on our roads.
The accident rates
One side to this shopping revolution that people do not always think about is safety. The more large vehicles you put on the roads, the greater the chances for accidents. These are a danger to working drivers who have to run that risk every day and to all of the drivers around them when the crash takes place. So, how often do these accidents happen?
A recent report claims that UPS alone saw an average of 8.95 accidents for every 100,000 hours that its drivers spent on the road. Looking at it this way -- by factoring in the driving hours -- makes it possible to compare the rate against other years, no matter how much more or less people use UPS.
With that in mind, the report was for 2017, the latest year for which all of the data has been collected and analyzed. It showed that the crash rate for the company actually fell by 1 percent when compared to the rate in 2016. UPS reportedly hopes to get down to 8.75 accidents per 100,000 driving hours in 2020.
How did they do it?
UPS attacked the issue of traffic crashes from a few different directions. For instance, they invested in virtual reality training that allowed drivers to practice and hone their skills without actually taking the road. Experience is one of the best ways to avoid crashes.
On top of that, they added collision mitigation systems to many of their trucks. This technology can now be found on over 60 percent of UPS's semitrucks. These systems help drivers avoid accidents in the real world that they may have gotten involved in previously.
It is clear that UPS knows they have to take steps to prevent accidents, and they are doing so. That's a positive sign in a world that is only putting more and more delivery trucks on the road.
However, it does not mean there is no risk. Drivers who get hurt on the job need to know their legal options, as do others who suffer injuries in these same crashes.