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UPS Truck Accidents

United Parcel Service of America, Inc. (UPS) operates a variety of trucks, including semi-trucks, box trucks and vans. Because they can weigh in excess of 40,000 pounds, these trucks are classified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as “large trucks,” and given their sheer size, a UPS truck accident can result in significant injury and even death.

What’s the likelihood of a UPS truck accident?

According to FMCSA, UPS operates around 134,000 vehicles with approximately 127,000 drivers who log more than 3.5 billion miles annually. A single UPS delivery driver averages about 125 daily miles and typically delivers at least 225 packages. During the busy holiday season, UPS hires up to 12,000 additional delivery drivers and increases its routes by 25%. There’s a good reason why you can’t drive far without seeing one of the ubiquitous brown trucks. As a result, UPS truck accidents are fairly common.

For the 24 months before March 9, 2023, FMCSA reported 2,886 crashes involving UPS vehicles, with 1,204 injuries and 67 fatalities. UPS data shows that a UPS truck accident occurred about four times a day in the U.S. between 2019 and 2021.

What causes UPS truck accidents?

While UPS has strict safety rules its drivers must follow, accidents still occur. When they do, the heavy load UPS trucks carry can cause serious damage and injuries when collisions with smaller vehicles occur. The vast majority of accidents are caused by driver error, as they hurry to make all their deliveries regardless of the weather.

Common causes of UPS truck accidents include:

  • Driver fatigue
  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding or other traffic violations
  • Poor vehicle maintenance

In the 24 months through September 2019, UPS drivers were cited 1,788 times for unsafe driving violations. FMCSA inspectors conducted 13,574 inspections of UPS drivers, and found two drug and alcohol violations, 239 driver fitness violations, and 312 hours of service compliance violations.

How are UPS drivers trained?

In addition to the commercial vehicle license requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT), UPS drivers participate in both classroom and on-the-road training. Within their first 22 days as a new driver, they must successfully complete three different safety evaluations and pass an evaluation drive with their supervisor every six months. If a driver is involved in a preventable accident, that driver is required to take an additional training course, along with submitting to any disciplinary actions the company deems appropriate.

Who’s liable if you’re in an accident with a UPS truck?

Because UPS employs most of its drivers, the responsibility for injuries and deaths caused by these drivers and company-owned vehicles lies squarely with the company and its insurers.

During peak holiday seasons, the carrier may hire UPS Personal Vehicle Drivers (PVDs), temporary drivers who support the company’s ground delivery services when volume is especially high. In such cases, responsibility may not be as clear. Determining fault in accidents like these can be complicated.

Like all drivers, UPS truck drivers can be distracted or tired, experience equipment breakdowns, and be driving dangerously given road and/or weather conditions. Only an experienced truck accident attorney can review your case to determine its merits and whether the company, the driver and other parties could be held liable.

What might you be able to recover?

Unlike personal injury claims resulting from car accidents, claims regarding accidents with UPS trucks may be of higher value because injuries may be more serious and more insurance coverage is available. Only an experienced truck accident attorney can give you a specific answer based on all the facts, but generally speaking, potentially recoverable personal injury damages can cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical therapy expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of function
  • Permanent disability
  • Wrongful death

What should you do if you’re involved in a UPS truck accident?

If you or a loved one is involved in an accident with a UPS delivery truck, contact the local police and seek medical attention immediately. Common injuries in these types of accidents include cuts, broken bones, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries and paralysis. Your injuries may not be immediately visible.

Before speaking with anyone, including representatives from UPS, you are encouraged to contact an experienced UPS truck accident attorney. Determining fault in accidents like these can be complicated. An experienced truck accident attorney can review your case to determine its merits and whether the company, the driver and other parties could be held liable.

How can PCVA attorneys help?

PCVA’s attorneys can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation and damages from UPS and others who may be responsible for the accident. If you would like to speak with a PCVA lawyer, complete our online form or call us at (253) 777-0799 or (206) 462-4334.

How much do you charge?

Our work is done on a contingency basis. This means that you do not pay us on an hourly basis, and we advance the costs of litigation. If we help you resolve your case, we receive a percentage of the amount you receive, and you reimburse us for the costs we advanced on your behalf.