What Winter Weather Safety Tips Should Delivery Drivers Follow?December 23, 2021
Driving a delivery truck can be a stressful job, particularly during the holiday season when you must deliver truckloads of packages every day, while also navigating heavy traffic and potentially dangerous road conditions caused by ice, snow, and freezing rain. In addition to inclement weather and holiday traffic, delivery truck drivers also face a range of other job-related hazards, including distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, unruly customers, and employers who impose unrealistic delivery deadlines on their drivers.
These conditions can compromise your safety and increase the risk of a serious work-related injury. However, if you keep the following safety tips in mind, you can avoid some of the common injuries associated with driving a delivery truck during the holiday season. If you are injured while on the job, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer experienced in Workers’ Compensation.
What Winter Weather Safety Tips Should I Keep in Mind?
Driving conditions can become treacherous when the temperatures start to drop, and the roads are covered in ice or snow. To avoid a weather-related car accident while you are on the job, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Check the tires. As the temperatures plummet, it is extremely important that you check the tire pressure and add air to the tires as needed. In addition, you should also consider replacing the all-season tires with winter-tread tires.
- Test the vehicle’s battery. The cold weather causes the car battery to lose a charge much faster. Most auto parts stores will test the battery for free.
- Inspect the vehicle’s lights. This is important since the sun sets much earlier, which means that it is dark out by 5:00 p.m. Make sure that the headlights, taillights, fog lights, and turn signals are working properly.
- Replace the wiper blades. If the wiper blades are old and no longer working properly, they will not thoroughly clean the ice, snow, and other debris off the windshield. This will lower your visibility, which can increase the risk of a serious accident.
- Keep an emergency kit in the vehicle. This is highly recommended in case your vehicle breaks down in a snowstorm. Having a well-stocked kit available will ensure that you stay safe and warm until help arrives. Your kit should include a warm blanket, a flashlight with extra batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food items, kitty litter, and a basic first-aid kit.
What Safety Tips Should Delivery Drivers Always Follow?
Although this may be one of the busiest times of the year for delivery drivers, there are several issues that can compromise your safety throughout the year, including distracted drivers, drunk drivers, and people who intend to steal from you or cause you harm when you are making a delivery. The following tips will help protect you from harm while you are on the job:
- Avoid distractions. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and people are easily distracted this time of year. The most common distractions include talking on the phone, reading, or sending a text, eating, and programming your GPS navigation system. Put the phone out of reach while you are driving. If you need to make a phone call or check a text message, wait to do so until you can pull over to a safe, well-lit spot.
- Consider taking a defensive driving source. If your employer offers a defensive driving course, sign up for it. If not, it is a good idea to take a course on your own and use the techniques that you learn, including checking the weather report, avoiding other vehicles’ blind spots, and checking your blind spots regularly, avoiding aggressive drivers, leaving plenty of room between your vehicle and the car into front of you, and making sure that you do not continuously change lanes.
- Notify your employer if you are sick or exhausted. Each year, there are approximately 100,000 drowsy driving car accidents in this country. You do not want to be part of that statistic. If you are not feeling well or are starting to feel sick or signs of drowsiness, talk to your employer and ask if your deliveries can be delayed or redistributed among other drivers.
- Do not strain your muscles. If you are delivering a package that is heavy, do not try to lift it or carry it from one place to another on your own. Use a dolly or another device that is used to move heavy objects.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This is always a good idea, particularly if you are driving late at night in an unfamiliar area. If you think that you are being followed or that your safety is being compromised, call 911 and provide dispatch with the license plate number of the vehicle that is following you.
- Park in well-lit areas. Ideally, you should avoid making deliveries at night. However, if this cannot be avoided, always park under a streetlamp or in a well-lit area when delivering packages at night.
- Always lock your vehicle. When making deliveries, always lock the vehicle and carry the key with you, even if it is a very short distance from your vehicle to the home or building where you are making the delivery. If you do not lock your vehicle, someone can easily steal packages from your vehicle in the short time it takes to make a delivery.
- Use discretion when making deliveries. If a delivery involves a monetary exchange, be discreet when making the exchange. If someone sees you hand off a large sum of money, there is an increased risk of theft.
- Do not carry a lot of cash. Oftentimes, delivery companies will post signs on their trucks that say “Drivers carry a limited amount of cash” to protect drivers and deter theft. If your employer does not do this, consider making that request.
- Install a dash cam. You may want to consider installing a camera on your dashboard. If you are in an accident or someone steals packages from your vehicle, this can help police identify the person responsible.
- Make sure that you are familiar with your route. Asking for directions or appearing to be lost are among the top causes of carjacking. Familiarize yourself with your route ahead of time so that you do not need to hesitate when you get back in the vehicle.
- Always wear a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to protect yourself in the event of a car accident. Although a seat belt does not prevent an accident, it can prevent fatalities and reduce the severity of injuries caused by car accidents.
What Are Examples of Common Delivery Driver Injuries?
If you are a delivery driver, you are often behind the wheel for hours at a time. You must manage a range of traffic scenarios and weather conditions, particularly during the month of December when you are busier than ever delivering packages while navigating roads that may be covered in ice or snow. Delivery drivers may suffer from a range of different injuries, depending on whether the injury was the result of a car accident, a heavy-lifting injury, a slip and fall accident, or some other type of work-related accident. The following are examples of the different types of injuries associated with working as a delivery driver:
- Back and neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee injuries
- Repetitive motion disorders
- Cuts, lacerations, contusions, and abrasions
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Fractured, broken, or crushed bones
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
What Benefits May I Receive if I Am Injured While on the Job?
If you are injured in a car accident or any other type of accident while you are working as a delivery driver, you are entitled to the following benefits:
- All medical expenses associated with the injury, including hospitalization, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and prescription medications.
- Loss of income if the injury prevents you from being able to return to work. You may also be eligible for disability benefits, including temporary partial disability, temporary total disability, or permanent partial disability, depending on the severity of your injury and the amount of time that you are unable to return to work.
- Death benefits are available to your surviving family members if you suffered a fatal injury. This may include compensation for funeral expenses and ongoing weekly payments for your dependents.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Delivery Drivers
If you were injured while on the job as a delivery driver, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will assist you with every step of the claims process, address all your questions and concerns, and ensure that you receive the financial benefits to which you are entitled. Our dedicated legal team will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.