What are the Most Common Causes of Delivery Driver Accidents?

Posted on: 7 mins read
Last updated:
Jonathan Thursby

Associate Solicitor, Personal Injury Claims

Share Article:

As the demands on delivery drivers become greater, we are unfortunately seeing an increase in the number of work-related accidents taking place both on roads and in delivery premises.

Every year, around 70 people are killed and 2,000 are injured in work-related accidents involving vehicles, with a significant proportion of these taking place during deliveries or collections. These statistics are showing no signs of decreasing.

Some of the most common reasons for delivery drivers suffering injuries include:

  • falling from a vehicle – this is a particular danger for delivery drivers on a motorbike or bicycle
  • tripping or slipping on unsafe paving or driveways at the location of the delivery
  • carrying items that are too heavy for one person
  • being hit by falling parcels that have not been securely stacked or secured
  • suffering a collision with another vehicle

If you’ve suffered an injury at work, our expert Personal Injury Lawyers could help you obtain compensation and vital support. Get in touch with us for a free claims assessment.

What Type of Delivery Driver is Most Likely to Have an Accident?

There are thousands of different types of delivery driver jobs available within the UK, including clothing, fast food, shopping, and much more.

Delivery drivers who collect and drop-off hot food for takeaway companies are far more likely to have an accident, according to reports. This is because takeaway delivery drivers are more likely to feel pressure from their employer to deliver quickly.

As such, they are far more likely to speed when they shouldn’t, which can lead to serious accidents. 21% of delivery drivers who work for fast food companies are more likely to drive through red lights, which could cause a collision.

These types of delivery drivers usually accept jobs through their phone, which means that they are also more likely to be distracted by their phone. 57% of drivers get distracted by their work phone, which can also lead to serious or fatal accidents.

TrustpilotStarsWe're ratedExcellent

Is it Safe to be a Delivery Driver?

So long as you drive safely, without rushing to get from one job to another, driving to deliver should be safe. There is an ever-increasing demand for new delivery drivers in the UK. With quick and efficient deliveries being an expectation of both customers and employers, the role is always in high demand.

But if focusing on speedy deliveries is at the forefront, even before employee safety, then it can lead to a dangerous working environment.

There’s plenty of regulations and laws around delivery driving, which if they are followed, will reduce the risk of any accidents and injuries. As a result, as long as you’re careful and you follow the proper safety guidelines, it can be perfectly safe to be a delivery driver.

Who is Responsible for a Deliver Driver Accident?

If you’ve been in an accident and you’re a deliver driver, but you’re not sure who’s responsible, your Personal Injury Solicitor can help identify who is responsible.

Self-employed delivery drivers who use their own vehicles are responsible for any accidents, along with their insurance.

In a situation where the delivery driver operates a vehicle that is owned by the employer, even if the delivery driver is at fault, the employer is responsible.

All employers have a legal requirement to make sure that you are looked after appropriately. This includes giving you the right safety equipment and training you on how to do your job safely.

How Should My Employer Be Protecting Me?

Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, your employer must take any reasonable measures necessary to ensure your safety, including:

  • having enough employees to handle the lifting of heavy items
  • making sure delivery drivers are trained in safety procedures and are aware of safety policies
  • carrying out regular assessments to identify hazards and implement relevant improvements
  • ensuring that all lifting is done by a competent person and is appropriately supervised

Furthermore, where 2 or more employers share a workplace, even if it’s temporary, they must both co-operate to make sure that they are both complying with their legal obligations.

If you’ve suffered an injury whilst working as a delivery driver and you don’t believe your employer did enough to protect you, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.

What Should I Do If I’ve Had an Accident as a Delivery Driver?

If you’ve experienced an accident while you were working as a delivery driver, you may be entitled to compensation. With this in mind, not only should you get medical advice straightaway, but you should also keep any documents about the accident.

If possible, you should also take photos of the accident, location, damage to your vehicle, and your injuries. If there were any witnesses, you should also ask them for their contact details, should you require a witness statement.

Why Should I Take Legal Action?

We know that after suffering an injury at work, you may be feeling shaken and the thought of taking legal action can feel overwhelming. The idea of making a claim against your employer can be particularly daunting, and you might be worried about any repercussions.

By law, your employer is not allowed to treat you any differently as a result of you taking legal action. If you’re concerned that your employer will not or cannot pay for your compensation, you shouldn’t let this deter you as their insurance company will cover this payment.

If you decide to instruct us to act on your behalf, we will not only work to get you compensation, but we will also arrange for you to be seen by medical experts and arrange interim payments wherever we can.

Can I Lose My Job for a Compensation Claim?

Many people hesitate to file a work accident claim because they worry about losing their job. It's important to know that it's against the law for your employer to fire you just because you're making a personal injury claim against them.

We understand that it can be intimidating starting a claim for compensation, but your employer cannot dismiss you because you have made a claim.

Every employee has a right to feel safe while they are at work. If you’ve been injured because of poor safety measures, you may be entitled to compensation. Alternatively, if you haven’t had an accident, but you’re concerned about the safety measures that are in place, you should equally report this to the relevant authorities.

How Do I Claim Compensation?

Our Personal Injury Solicitors can help offer you legal advice based on your case. Why not get in touch today to book your free consultation?

We’ll gather all the details about the accident to determine the strength of your case. If we decide to take your case on, we’ll take the best course of action to get the compensation that you deserve.

We understand that an accident can be traumatic, so we strive to make the claiming process as simple as we possibly can. Our friendly, expert solicitors will be there every step of the way to help support you.

How Would the Matter be Funded?

We can deal with Personal Injury claims on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means you won’t need to worry about paying us anything unless your claim is successful.

If we’re able to obtain you compensation, the other side will pay a proportion of our costs, but you may have to contribute towards these too. This will come out of any Personal Injury compensation you receive.

Get in touch with our expert Personal Injury Solicitors to find out more.

Delivery Driver Accident Case Study

In 2022, a delivery driver fell asleep while working which resulted in a fatal collision, where a woman was killed.

The delivery driver collided with a lorry, before rebounding onto the woman’s car, causing her devastating fatal injuries. An ambulance just so happened to be passing and stopped to help, but her injuries were too serious, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

The woman’s husband provided the Court with a statement:

“My soulmate, our family’s rock, was killed on her way to work – a mere 600 to 700 yards from our house. It shocked me to the core.

"I did not want to believe what I was told - my lovely wife was taken from us due to the recklessness of a so-called professional driver.”

In Court, the delivery driver admitted to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 40 months in jail.

He further admitted that he was struggling to stay awake and had previously been drifting into the central white lines, so stopped for a coffee break. He ignored the empty parking spaces that were available in the garage that he stopped at and continued to his last delivery of the day.

Despite trying to keep himself awake with coffees, he fell asleep at the wheel and drifted onto the wrong side of the carriageway. His car collided with a HGV, before hitting into the car behind.

Preventable Outcome

Had the delivery driver stopped and taken a break before returning to the road, this fatal accident would never have happened. While the driver was responsible for his actions, he appeared to be working longer hours than he should have.

If his employer had more health and safety measures in place that allow for breaks, this accident may not have happened.


Whittingham, A. and Thrower, A. (2022). Delivery driver fell asleep and killed mum in crash after coffee with 14 sugars. [online] The Mirror. Available at: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/delivery-driver-fell-asleep-killed-28726892

UCL (2022). Road collisions more likely for takeaway delivery riders working in the gig economy. [online] UCL News. Available at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2022/nov/road-collisions-more-likely-takeaway-delivery-riders-working-gig-economy

www.hse.gov.uk. (n.d.). Vehicles at work - Delivering safely. [online] Available at: https://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/information/cooperation.htm

Jonathan Thursby

Associate Solicitor, Personal Injury Claims

Areas of Expertise:
Personal Injury

Jonathan is an Associate Solicitor in our Serious Injury department, specialising in Employers’ Liability (accidents at work) and Public Liability (accidents in a public place) cases.

He prides himself on being approachable and sensitive to the needs of his clients, and he is also practical with strong attention to detail.

Get in touch, today!

Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our dedicated team members, or call our team today on: 0808 239 6443

This data will only be used by Simpson Millar in accordance with our Privacy Policy for processing your query and for no other purpose