Take-out food has taken on new meaning these days. Someone else still does the cooking, but now with food delivery options like DoorDash, you don’t have to pick it up yourself.
The drawback to that convenience is the added traffic those multiple trips add to Spokane roads. It’s also more likely some of those drivers are distracted by their job and may be more likely to cause an accident. What’s worse, you may happen to be on the road at the same time and be put in a life-threatening situation yourself.
Food Delivery Accident Dangers in Spokane
Imagine traveling down the street and having to worry about a lot more than driving – like directions, customers, and other job concerns. That’s what DoorDash drivers face as they work all day (and sometimes late into the night) from behind the wheel. Distracted drivers are a problem no matter where you drive, but when you are accepting orders, confirming locations, and trying to please customers, sometimes safe driving takes a back seat.
In a recent report on distracted driving, experts found nearly 33% of U.S. drivers 18 to 64 years old read or send text or email messages while behind the wheel. They estimated that each year distracted driving leads to 420,000 injuries and 3,100 deaths.
Cell Phone distractions play a big part in those tragic numbers, and if a phone is a big part of the work you do each day, like a delivery driver, then the risks increase. A delivery driver in front of you can veer, make a sudden turn, or even stop suddenly as they try to locate a destination. This careless driving can land other drivers in a collision and cause serious injuries.
DoorDash Distracted Driving Common Causes
Drivers for DoorDash may be rushing to complete a meal order, cruising while waiting to find a customer, or taking in a new order that may be full of detailed instructions from a picky eater. The distractions would be a lot for anyone to handle and they lead to mistakes on the street.
The National Highway Travel Safety Administration (NHTSA) worked with law enforcement to determine the three main categories of distracted driving. They apply to all of us and especially anyone who is driving while on the clock.
- Visual Distractions – Any moment the driver is looking at something other than the road. A phone, a child, a radio dial. The distractions can even be outside the car, like an accident or street signs as you look for a new location. DoorDash drivers rely on their phones and must sometimes locate places they’ve never been before to find restaurants.
- Manual Distractions – When a driver takes their hands from the wheel for any reason. Adjusting a seat, eating, or grabbing that bag of fast food that just fell over. Smoking can also be a distraction.
- Cognitive Distractions – This is when the mind wanders. Daydreaming or thinking about problems at home or at work. We’ve all done it. A DoorDash driver just has more opportunity to be thinking of something other than driving. Work stress is a definite risk when your office is behind the wheel.
Of course, some of these distractions can be combined to cause even bigger problems for the driver. The risk of a bad maneuver on the road only increases.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do DoorDash drivers have insurance to cover accidents?
DoorDash Drivers are required to carry their own personal car accident insurance and it’s the policy that will usually be involved after an accident. DoorDash does maintain a one million dollar policy for bodily injury and/or property damage if you get hurt by one of their drivers.
Keep in mind, DoorDash insurance only covers drivers after they have picked up food and are delivering it. Claims are first filed against the driver’s insurance and then DoorDash coverage may kick in for anything the driver’s insurance doesn’t cover. DoorDash tries to avoid taking the blame in accidents, but an attorney can investigate their hiring records and the driving history of their drivers to force the company to accept liability.
How long do personal injury cases last?
It depends. Once an accident lawsuit is filed, a civil trial may become necessary, but a settlement is the more likely outcome. Settlements are usually resolved much more quickly than trial cases.
Your attorney, negotiating for you, may help reach an agreement with the at-fault driver, his or her insurance, and any lawyers involved at any time. As long as you and your attorney feel like it is a fair offer and covers all of your expenses, you can accept the settlement at any time, ending the need for a trial. If fair compensation isn’t offered to you, taking the at-fault driver to court may be necessary. Trial schedules can vary greatly, but generally, it will take a year or longer before your case is heard.
Should I talk to DoorDash Representatives?
Talk to a lawyer first. You should not make a statement about the accident to the DoorDash driver on the scene. You should also avoid making any statements to anyone representing DoorDash who may call you after an accident.
Allow your own attorney to communicate with anyone who is not on your side. Lawyers and insurance agents working for the driver and DoorDash will try to use any statement you make to weaken your case.
Contact a Spokane Auto Accident Attorney
As a victim injured in an accident you will want to ensure that your medical bills, lost wages from work, and physical and emotional pain are all compensated by the at-fault driver and the company he or she works for. The state of Washington allows victims up to three years to file a claim for these damages, but the attorneys with CCD Law recommend filing as soon as you can. The less time that passes, the easier it will be to round-up evidence and documents vital to your case.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.