- Drivers delivering Amazon packages have been involved in 60 car crashes causing serious injuries since 2015, with 13 fatalities, according to a new investigation by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica.
- As Amazon increased in scale, it repeatedly prioritized faster deliveries and increased revenue, the investigation found.
- Executives reportedly nixed policies that would have set higher safety requirements for delivery drivers.
- Amazon maintains that it has “always had a focus on safety” and will continue to reevaluate safety measures.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
As Amazon rushed to meet a swelling demand for fast deliveries from its growing customer base, the company may have prioritized speed at the expense of safety, according to a sprawling investigation by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica published Monday.
The investigation shines a new light on the human toll of Amazon’s deliveries: Drivers carrying Amazon packages were involved in 60 car crashes since 2015 that caused serious injuries, and the death of 13 people, according to a combination of public records, court documents, internal memos, and current and former Amazon employees.
Some of those crashes may have been preventable, the report said.
Amazon executives reportedly nixed proposed measures that would have upped safety requirements for drivers, including a proposed requirement to drug test drivers. The report found that, in an attempt to rapidly hire a fleet of drivers, Amazon hired a delivery driver who had night blindness, as well as a driver who acknowledged using medical marijuana.
Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. In a statement to BuzzFeed News, a company spokesperson denied the characterization that the company prioritized growth over safety, arguing that Amazon has “always had a focus on safety.”
The investigation also levies blame on Amazon’s internal GPS app for drivers, Rabbit, which sometimes instructed drivers to make unsafe u-turns and left turns, according to the report.
Amazon faced scrutiny from lawmakers this year over safety concerns surrounding its delivery network. After senators sent a letter to Jeff Bezos requesting information about the company’s safety practices, an Amazon representative responded that “safety is Amazon’s top priority.”
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Safety issues continue to swirl even in the wake of that letter. In October, a toddler in Chicago was struck and killed by a delivery driver making a left turn. According to this report by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica, that driver was a contractor delivering Amazon packages.
Read the full investigation by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica here.