A broadband ‘firehose’ of data has the potential to better inform and direct our approach to incidents.
Delivery Safety in the Gig Economy
Delivery drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Learn how you can increase your personal safety.
Dozens of apps promise to deliver fresh, hot meals to our doors within minutes and make ordering food easier than ever. But some orders come at a high cost. Across the country, many drivers face accidents, intimation, serious injury, and sometimes death just to bring us our food. In 2018 alone, 966 drivers lost their lives, which made driver/sales workers the sixth most dangerous job in America according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
But today’s data may reveal an even darker reality. Covid has led to an overall increase in violent crimes and has made personal safety an even greater concern for delivery drivers and the platforms that enlist them.
This year, many gig workers have faced assaults and some have been murdered while performing their job. In January, two drivers were murdered on separate occasions while making deliveries in the same region of Northern Texas. In March, an UberEats driver in Washington, DC died after two teenage girls tased him in an attempt to steal his car. And in May, a GrubHub driver completed a delivery after being stabbed in the abdomen on his way to the customer’s residence.
The increase in violence and carjackings has spurred many drivers to start carrying an assortment of weapons and begin turning down evening jobs that they believe might be dangerous.
Delivery platforms are now taking proactive measures to counteract the spike of incidents occurring recently. Some platforms offer safety courses for their drivers, and in California they are legally mandated to do so by Proposition 22. These courses cover everything from defensive driving to food safety. However, despite training, drivers remain vulnerable and it has become essential for delivery platforms to do everything they can to protect the people working for them.
Information is a key asset that can help. "At night I just want to drive right to the customer's home, park as close as possible and complete the delivery.” Michele Sleet, a DoorDash driver, stated on social media. “The last thing I want is to attract attention by driving around lost before I get out of the car with my delivery bag."
Another DoorDash driver on Facebook recently complained about being sent to a random spot in the center of the city because the delivery address had not been validated and did not exist. Not all deliveries and all neighborhoods are alike, but a prepared driver is always safer than one who is startled and confused, which is why advanced GPS routing is critical for delivery drivers.
Thankfully, drivers do not need to rely on standard navigation programs that lack data surrounding apartments, rural areas, or other complex destinations in order to complete deliveries. Drivers equipped with pinpoint location data are able to proceed directly to a customer’s doorstep and avoid wasting time searching for the drop-off area.
The Beans Maps app is popular with drivers because it provides location data up to ten feet from a customer’s front door, even at apartment complexes. Most navigation systems stop at the main gate or leasing office, and additional directions from the customer may be unclear or unavailable. Beans Maps relies on a proprietary address database that can provide detailed directions to the customer’s apartment unit. This is especially helpful at night when apartment numbers are rarely lit. Moreover, it will frequently calculate and recommend the best parking option, along with building entrance, stairway, and elevator location. Additionally, it can automate mileage tracking and proof of delivery to ease the driver’s burden.
Drivers who are looking to boost their personal safety while making deliveries can minimize the amount of time they spend outside their vehicle with the help from apps like Beans Maps for Apartments. Visit the Apple Store or Google Play to download the app for free.