By Guest Author: Keith Kofsky:
According to a CNN.com report, the riskiest jobs in America include delivery drivers. These types of jobs include pizza and Chinese food delivery, which are sometimes lower-paying jobs; however, they also include higher paying jobs, like package delivery drivers. Roughly 38 out of every 100,000 drivers dies each year in this type of work.
While fatal traffic accidents account for a majority of deaths, 25 percent of delivery drivers die in robberies and assaults. If you work in the delivery business, learn how to protect yourself. Most assailants strike in one of three ways:
- Hiding around residential areas while waiting for delivery drivers to arrive.
- Following drivers as they leave businesses to make their deliveries.
- Setting up a fake delivery, and then ambushing the driver when they arrive.
Take Self-Defense Classes
Everyone should know self-defense, especially delivery drivers. You don’t have to become a Karate master, but you should know how to take care of yourself in any situation. Self-defense comes in many different forms, with most of the effective classes focusing on self and situational awareness. Self-defense can teach you to be aware of your surroundings. Fighting should be your last resort, but having some tools can help you think of solutions instead of panicking.
Keep Your Vehicle in Good Working Order
By keeping your vehicle in good working order, you avoid the types of situations that make you vulnerable to an attack or carjacking. Reduce your risk of breaking down in an unfamiliar area, or being stranded on the side of the road. Even highways aren’t safe for stranded drivers. It is also important to make sure you understand how to drive in any type of weather. For more information on driving in poor weather, check out this article by the Philly Car Accident Guys.
Only Deliver to Known Addresses and Locations
Only deliver to known addresses or locations. Some shops, like Aunt Polly’s Pizza, won’t deliver to an address unless it’s known. They also request customers keep lights on at night and welcome the delivery person. If you’re delivering flowers, packages or even pizza, it’s worth it to ask your boss to implement a similar policy.
More Things Business Owners Can Do
Business owners should establish clear rules and procedures for all delivery drivers. Here are some things bosses can do to ensure driver safety:
- Always ask for a call back number from every delivery customer, and verify that number before the delivery.
- Keep a list of all customers that order delivery service, and post the order of deliveries in a visible area for drivers to view before deliveries.
- Adopt a credit card only policy for all deliveries, or at least for deliveries after dark.
- Post signs on all delivery vehicles that read: “Drivers carry no cash. Orders payable by credit card only.”
- Print the rules for delivery on your take out menus, so customers know them.
- Allow your drivers to wear street clothes, instead of uniforms marking them as delivery persons.
- Avoid sending delivery drivers out late at night.
- If they take cash, have drivers stop off between deliveries to drop off.
- Don’t encourage drivers to carry a weapon, because a criminal could use it against them.
- Equip all drivers with cell phones having 9-1-1 on speed dial.
Extra Steps Delivery Drivers Can Take
There are several things delivery drivers can do to be safer in their work, including:
- Don’t deliver to a house that looks empty or dark. Call the customer and ask them to put the lights on and/or meet you outside.
- If anything looks or feels wrong to you, don’t make the delivery. Trust your instincts. Call your boss to let them know it feels unsafe there, and either return to the store, or have someone meet you.
- Use the buddy system in notoriously unsafe areas.
- As you approach the delivery site, try to shine your headlights on the door of the building.
- Park your vehicle as close to the door as possible, and under a streetlight. Avoid parking in dark or isolated areas.
- Lock the vehicle and carry your keys.
- Never walk behind a dark building or down a dark pathway.
- If anyone approaches you, keep them at least an arm’s length distance away.
If someone robs you, stay calm and do what they tell you to do. Don’t get inside a vehicle with them if you can help it, and always assume they are armed. Try to remember helpful facts, like what the suspect and vehicle looked like, the plate number and the direction of travel. Lock yourself in your vehicle and call 9-1-1 as soon as you safely can.
Don’t go to your next delivery. Instead, remain to talk to the police, protecting evidence the perpetrator left behind. Ask witnesses to stay and help the police find the criminal before they strike again. Hopefully, you won’t experience a robbery in your work, but it’s always best to know what to do, just in case. Always consider safety first, and you’ll reduce your risks greatly.
Keith Kofsky, Esq. is an attorney at a personal injury law firm in Philadelphia, PA. Mr. Kofsky is the sponsor of Philly Car Accident Guys. He enjoys sharing his legal ideas and insights through blogging.