UPS recently announced that it was honoring 25 of its Massachusetts drivers for having at least 25-years of driving without an accident. The honor means that their names will be inscribed in the company’s Circle of Honor that lists the names of its drivers for similar safe driving records worldwide. Massachusetts has 193 drivers in this UPS hall of fame with one driver boasting 39-years of service without an accident. This is remarkable given the long hours many drivers are on the road, and in all kinds of weather and traffic conditions. To date, UPS has around 2,310 drivers on Massachusetts roads.
All UPS drivers attend a boot camp where they learn how to handle heavy packages or boxes, to start their truck with one hand, how to walk on slick or icy surfaces, and how to drive their “package cars.” One safe driving suggestion is to avoid backing up whenever possible since that leads to many accidents. Another is to avoid making left turns by driving in right hand loops as studies showed that too much idling time was spent waiting to make left turns. This has saved the company millions of gallons of gas and reduced carbon emissions. Left turns are also responsible for a substantial percentage of accidents as drivers either are inattentive to vehicles approaching them in the opposite lane of traffic, or misjudge their speed and distance, or fail to see pedestrians crossing in front of them.
Drivers are encouraged to be safe and are rewarded based on their years of no-accident driving, or at least ones where they are blameless, with gifts. These include highway safety kits, bicycles, barbeque grills, golf clubs, and bomber jackets if you go 25-years without an accident. The pay is very good at an average of $30 per hour. Drivers also work hard with some making up to 150 deliveries per day. Further, drivers are watched and monitored for efficiency.
Driver safety for trucking companies or any other company that transports goods or persons is or should be paramount. Ads for these companies often extol their safety record or encourage motorists to call them if one of their drivers is not practicing safe driving.
Accidents with a UPS Driver
So, if UPS drivers are so safe, accidents should be rare. However, drivers are human, even UPS drivers the last time we checked, so they are not infallible. UPS drivers are under deadlines and pressure to deliver packages, which can number up to 150 per day. This causes fatigue if not pressure to stay on schedule that can lead to drivers driving too fast, taking shortcuts, weaving through traffic, or engaging in other risky driving practices. These can also include:
- Driving too fast for the conditions
- Lack of experience in handling the truck
- Failure to yield right-of-way at an intersection
- Distracted by eating, looking at their GPS devices, or texting
- Unsafe passing or lane change
- Impairment from alcohol and/or drugs
An experienced UPS accident lawyer (we have had cases against UPS) can subpoena and review the driver’s schedule or log to see if he/she was behind on deliveries at the time of the accident. If the officer on the scene suspected drug or alcohol use by the UPS driver, then a positive breath or blood test can be used as evidence of impairment and negligence.
Many UPS delivery vehicles also have on-board electronic data systems that give information on speed, braking, airbag deployment, steering, and other data that can be vital in ascertaining the conduct of the UPS driver in the seconds up to and including the moment of impact.
Claims against UPS, or any other national or international company of considerable size and resources, can be difficult to handle. These organizations will not accept liability easily and have retained defense law firms staffed by highly experienced lawyers who will defend their clients vigorously. This often entails offering low settlement amounts, or forcing you to litigate your case. Liability, even if seemingly apparent, will often be disputed and defense lawyers will allege that some degree of causal responsibility should be placed on you if at all possible. UPS trial defense lawyers will also challenge the nature and extent of your injuries, claim that your treatment or medical expenses were unreasonable, excessive, or not related to your claimed injuries; or that you had a pre-existing condition that was not caused by the accident.
You can also expect to be deposed by the UPS attorney and subjected to a physical exam of the attorney’s choice who will typically dispute the extent of your injuries or that the treatment you received should have been more conservative since the same results would have occurred. In any event, you need to retain a highly experienced and resourceful UPS accident lawyer who has a record of success against aggressive litigation tactics.
Damages in UPS Accident Cases
UPS vehicles can cause considerable damage and serious injury. You can claim various damages if injured:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future income losses
- Loss of earning capacity
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological distress
- Spousal claim for loss of consortium
Retain the UPS accident lawyers at the office of Burns and Jain. With decades of experience and success in representing and advocating for the rights of injured persons, you can be ensured of high-quality legal representation. Call us at (617) 227-7423 for a free consultation.