We often address the safety issues around Amazon and other delivery services’ trucks here on our blog. One of the primary concerns is that their drivers are often under considerable pressure to make numerous deliveries each day on a tight schedule. This can lead to speeding and other reckless driving behaviors.
Most people aren’t as concerned about their safety around United States Postal Service (USPS) trucks. Fair or not, the USPS doesn’t have a reputation for being concerned with timely delivery.
While you may not see a postal truck zipping around your neighborhood at excessive speeds, you may have cause for concern about these vehicles. The Grumman Long Live Vehicles (LLVs) were placed in service between 1987 and 1994 with a promised 24-year life span. Further, the planned introduction of new trucks for 2023 is facing a potential delay because of a lawsuit by a company that lost out on the winning bid to manufacture the new vehicles. Depending on how long the court battle lasts, it could be at least several more years before a new fleet is rolled out.
Fire, ice and other issues
One of the biggest concerns for postal workers who drive these trucks is also something that could affect anyone sharing the road with them. Over 150 trucks have caught fire – 19 last month alone. One woman says she looked outside to see her local postal carrier’s truck in flames in a neighbor’s driveway. That can be a particular concern in areas like ours that endure months of excessive heat.
In parts of the country with extreme cold, snow and ice, the trucks can present other problems. One postal carrier in Maine says the vehicles, which have rear-wheel drive, are known for spinning on ice. He also says that sometimes his transmission slips out of gear.
The USPS is aware of the problems with its local delivery vehicles – about 75% of which are the Grumman LLVs. According to a spokesperson, “The current delivery fleet has reached a critical point where it is no longer cost-effective to maintain….” Yet, nothing has been done yet to alleviate anybody’s concerns.
Anyone who’s injured in a crash caused by a postal truck driver or by a malfunction of the truck can hold the USPS liable. If this applies to you or a loved one, it’s essential to learn more about your options for getting the compensation you need to deal with expenses and damages.