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Millions of packages are shipped in the U.S. every day. FedEx alone moves 14.5 million packages daily, while UPS delivered 22.3 million daily in 2023. These shipments help consumers access everyday necessities and make life more convenient — you can get essentials delivered without leaving the house. However, the delivery vans that major shipping and e-commerce companies use are often involved in accidents, and they could be made safer by improving the technology used in the vans. CNN recently analyzed a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) to determine how technology can help prevent car crashes. 

Van Crash Statistics

The IIHS study specifically looked at accidents involving light vans weighing 10,000 pounds or less from 2016 until 2021. They are popular among delivery services because their smaller size makes them easier to operate while still having ample storage space. About 500,000 light vans are sold every year. IIHS researchers found that equipping vans with safety features could drastically reduce the number of crashes we see. Most car accidents are preventable; implementing additional safety measures is one way to avoid them.

  • Safety features would prevent or mitigate nearly 4 out of 10 fatal crashes.
  • There were an average of 935,371 police-reported crashes, 98,110 injury crashes, and 3,637 fatal crashes yearly.
  • Pedestrian fatalities have increased 83% since 2009, while cyclist deaths have increased 75%. Vans are more likely to injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists because of the way they are shaped.
  • In more than 60% of injury-related cases and more than half of fatal crashes, another vehicle occupant or road user was injured or killed.
  • The technology could prevent 26% of all crashes reported to the police and 22% of crashes that involve injuries.

How Technology Can Help Delivery Van Accidents

The IIHS recommends that shipping and e-commerce companies implement four types of technology in light vans: front crash prevention, intelligent speed assistance, lane departure prevention, and blind spot detection. Let’s examine what each entails and how they might make our roads safer.

Front crash prevention: Front crash prevention utilizes cameras, radar, and other technology to warn drivers about threats and obstacles in front of them on the road. Front crash prevention also includes automatic emergency braking, which detects potential car crashes and automatically engages a vehicle’s brakes. According to IIHS data, front crash prevention could reduce rear-end crashes by half, reducing light van crashes by 77,000 annually. 

Blind spot detection: Light vans have more prominent blind spots than smaller cars, making it harder to spot vehicles. Blind spot detection can identify vehicles in a van’s blind spot and provide a warning if the driver puts on their turn signal to switch lanes. 

Intelligent speed assistance: Drivers often race against the clock to make as many deliveries as possible during their shifts, leading to unsafe behavior on the road. Intelligent speed assistance is one way to combat this problem. It’s a safety feature that uses GPS technology to display the speed limit and alert drivers if they exceed the posted speed.

Lane departure prevention: Lane departure prevention stops vehicles from drifting into other lanes. This technology uses a camera that tracks the distance between a van and the lane markings on the road. If the van starts to move too close to the next lane, it provides a warning sound. 

These advances aren’t foolproof, and drivers need to remain alert and focused instead of relying on technology to monitor the road for them. However, according to the IIHS study, these technologies can significantly affect safety. Some of these features are already available on light vans, but it isn’t clear whether delivery companies are choosing to purchase models with these technologies. Amazon provided CNN with a statement that its vehicles are equipped with technology that monitors “unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, distraction, and failure to wear a seat belt or obey a road sign.” The company says that it has seen accidents decline by nearly 40% since implementing the technology.

After A Car Crash

While safety technology reduces the risk of car crashes, there’s still a chance that you’ll be involved in a collision with a light van — or, in some cases, delivery drivers using their vehicles. What should you do after a crash with a delivery vehicle? The first step is calling 911, even if the collision was minor. It can take days or even weeks for injuries from a car crash to become apparent, and having a police report will help you down the road. Then, take photos and videos of the scene — vehicle damage, road conditions, and where the crash occurred. If there are any witnesses, ask them for their contact information. After a collision, the most crucial step is to seek medical attention for your injuries immediately.

FedEx, Amazon, and other delivery companies have liability insurance covering their drivers in case of an accident. If you’re injured or sustained property damage, their insurance companies may propose a settlement that’s often a lowball offer. Hiring a car wreck attorney helps ensure you get what you deserve after a delivery van crash. The Cochran Firm Texas handles car and truck crash claims, advocating for crash victims to receive the compensation they need. Call us at 800-843-3476 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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