Mooneerams Solicitors

Call Mooneerams Solicitors today!

Mooneerams Solicitors
Personal Injury Compensation Calculator
Personal Injury Blog

Food Delivery Driver Accidents – How Common Are They?

Carl Waring

Carl Waring

|  3rd November 2021  |

food delivery driver

Speak to us now on 029 2048 3615 or request a callback.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Updated December 2023

Remember the days when getting fast food delivered to your door was limited to the odd pizza restaurant and some entrepreneurial Indian and Chinese food outlets?

Things have moved on apace in the intervening years, but it was an unexpected global crisis that really saw home food delivery services take off beyond all expectations.

Amidst all the difficulties, tragedy and mass job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there were some unexpected business successes.

For instance, how many people had heard of Zoom, the video communications platform before mid-March 2020? Netflix was already a household name when lockdown came in March 2020 but during the rest of the year, it added over 37 million new subscribers worldwide.

The other business sector that boomed as a result of the world being home based for so long was the food delivery industry with the names of  DeliverooJust Eat and Uber Eats becoming the very epitome of the term ‘household names’.

It’s proved to be a phenomenon which, although not created by the pandemic, was undoubtedly taken to a stratospheric level as a result of it.

Several years on from the Covid lockdown, the foodservice delivery market is still strong and research figures suggest it is likely to remain so for the next few years for the next few years at least as the food delivery market’s value continues to rise.

What’s more, generally speaking, it’s stayed there although the model has had to evolve, as competition has become even fiercer both in terms of the number of players in the food delivery sector, and the effect of the cost of living crisis the UK has been living through since late 2021.

Whereas millions of customers used to reach for takeaway menus, they now open their favourite food delivery app, and can have their order placed, paid for and confirmed within minutes.

The app will tell you how long it will take for your order to be prepared and how long delivery will take once your food has left the restaurant or takeaway shop. You can track your driver at any given moment on his journey to deliver your food, and you’ll likely be told by the app, when the delivery person is very close, so you in position  to receive your order at the front door, thus helping the driver get a quick turnround and on to his next customer.

On such fine margins, the battle to be the customers favoured food delivery service, are won or lost.

Great news for customers – but what about the delivery drivers themselves? How safe are they zooming around our towns on bikes, motorcycles or in cars? Are they at risk of becoming road traffic accident victims themselves? Are other road users at risk of getting injured by delivery drivers rushing from job to job whilst trying to meet tight delivery schedules and do enough deliveries to make anything like a worthwhile living ?

The life of a food delivery driver

food delivery driverMost (but not all) food delivery drivers are said to be part of the ‘Gig Economy’. In other words, they are self-employed, often temporary, workers. This type of work often suits many people as it gives them the flexibility to work for different employers and at times to suit themselves. On the flip side, since food delivery drivers get paid per each individual job and therefore, they usually need get through many deliveries a day to make it worth their while.

Suit many of them it may – an easy way to make a living it is not!

Whilst some food delivery people use a car, many more travel by scooter or small motorbikes. In many urban areas, delivery of food by bicycle has now become the norm, as it is the quickest means of getting round ever congested towns and cities.

Is being a self-employed food delivery driver just an accident waiting to happen?

The downside for two-wheeled food delivery drivers, is that cyclists and motor cyclists are among the most vulnerable of road users at the best of times. The latest government road accident statistics again reveal that of all fatal road accident victims in 2022, 21% were motorcyclists and 5%, pedal cyclists.

In addition, it is estimated that around a third of all road traffic accidents involve someone who was driving for a work-related reason.

All of this combines to make the job of a self-employed food delivery driver/rider a dangerous one,

  • As they are paid by the job, not on an hourly basis, there is great pressure to get as many jobs as possible done in as short a period of time as possible. A University College London survey specifically focusing on the issues surrounding gig economy drivers, riders and their managers found that 56% of those interviewed said that the time pressure of gig forces them to travel over the speed limit. 21% of interviewees, said they would run red traffic lights for the same reason.
  • The survey revealed that 57% of those whose work was mobile phone app-based, found that the app had caused them distractions whilst driving/ riding.
  • Gig workers are more likely to report damage to their vehicle than employed delivery drivers (25% as opposed to 67%) and injury to themselves or a third party to the collision, than their employed counterparts (11% compared to 6%).
  • Around 75% of both employed and self-employed riders said they were monitored by the company to see how quickly they were doing their jobs.

What makes motorcycle or pedal bike delivers drivers vulnerable road users?

  • Cyclists and scooter/ motorbike bike riders are at risk of dooring (having a door opened on them as they pass a stationary motor vehicle).
  • They are vulnerable at T junctions when motorists fail to notice their presence on the major road and turn across their path.
  • Motorists frequently lose sight of cyclists and motorbikes/scooters in their blind spots. ‘Not seeing the bike rider’ is a common cause of cycling accident claims and motorcycle accident claims.
  • Delivery drivers tend to be especially busy during bad weather in the evenings  (because customers don’t want to venture out themselves for food). Sometimes the conditions are so bad that no one should be out on the road. Delivery drivers are still expected to continue to provide delivery services in bad weather.

I’m a food delivery driver/rider and I have been injured in an accident that wasn’t my fault – can I claim?

If you’ve been injured in a road traffic accident whilst working as a food delivery driver or rider, and it wasn’t your fault, then you may want to make a personal injury claim and for any other losses you’ve sustained. Your road traffic accident claim would be brought against the driver of the other vehicle that caused the accident? In most cases, the claim will be dealt with by the other drivers’ insurance company.

As a self-employed food delivery driver, it’s really important that you do make a claim. It’s unlikely that you will be paid by your employer whilst you are off work (although you’ll need to check that with the company). If you don’t get paid, then a loss of earnings claim should be made alongside your personal injury claim.

Are food delivery rivers/riders just as likely to be the cause of a crash themselves?

Sometimes the very reasons that make being a food delivery driver or rider such a dangerous occupation can work the other way. For example:

  • They constantly have to rush to get jobs done,
  • They work long hours,
  • In some cases, they have a lack of driving/riding experience particularly in carrying food at the same time,
  • They spend a long time on the road
  • They get distracted by the delivery app on their phones

All of these things can lead to the delivery driver or rider making mistakes and being the cause of accidents, as well as being the victim.

Watch our video: How common are food delivery driver accidents?

I’ve been injured in an accident caused by a food delivery driver/rider – can I make an injury claim against them?

You can make a personal injury claim if you are involved in a road accident with a food delivery driver/rider, if they caused the accident and you suffered injury as a result.

If the food delivery worker was driving a car, motorcycle or scooter then as long as the driver was insured, you will get paid out by his or her insurer in the event of your making a successful claim.

This will be the case whether or not the drivers’ insurance covers them for business use.

Under section 151 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, the insurance company will be obliged to pay out on any judgement (settlement agreed) that the claimant receives, provided that notice has been given to the insurance company under s 152 of the RTA 1988 within 7 days of commencing court proceedings against the negligent driver.

Could you claim against the company that the delivery driver is working for instead?

A company can be held responsible for the negligent actions of its employees. That would be true where a company driver-employee causes an accident in a company vehicle, whilst the driver is on company business. The company is ‘vicariously liable’ for the employee’s action i.e. the employer is responsible for the acts of the employee, including negligent acts.

As already mentioned, although much of this article focus on self-employed delivery drivers, some delivery riders are employees.

However, most food delivery drivers/riders work as freelancers, on a self-employed basis. This includes Uber Eats riders/drivers , despite Uber taxi drivers having been reclassified as employees due to a ruling of the Supreme Court of England and Wales  For that reason, it may be difficult to argue that the delivery company is liable for the negligent acts of its drivers.

In any road traffic accident claim we  always advise clients to bring a claim against the rider/driver that caused the accident, in the first instance. If the company’s insurance takes over the claim, so be it. It is never wrong to bring the claim against the negligent driver/ rider.

What if I’m a pedestrian and I’ve been injured by a food delivery driver who is riding a bicycle?

If a pedestrian suffers injury in an accident caused by a food delivery driver who has been negligent, then it follows from what has already been written, the personal injury claim needs to be made against the bike rider. However, cyclists don’t have to be insured.

So, although you may succeed in a personal injury claim against a cyclist, if they aren’t insured, getting your compensation is likely to prove difficult.

Increasingly some of the larger food delivery companies are providing Third-Party insurance cover for the cyclists who deliver for them. Deliveroo first provided its riders with free insurance cover, in 2018. Some others have followed suit. Others have not, meaning that some food delivery cyclists are riding around insured, some are not.

Contact Mooneerams – The Personal Injury Solicitors5* rated by with over 250 reviews!

If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in a food delivery driver/rider accident either as a delivery driver/rider yourself or in an accident caused by a delivery driver/rider, then call Mooneerams solicitors.

Mooneerams are based in Cardiff but have meeting facilities in AberdareBridgendCaerphillyCardiff BayLondon, Merthyr TydfilPontypridd , Swansea and Bristol.

Call us on 029 2048 3615 for a free telephone consultation. You can also contact us online and request a call back.

Most of the road traffic accident claims that Mooneerams solicitors handle are done on a No Win No Fee basis.

Go to Top