Is Doordash Safe for Food Delivery?

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How Safe Are Some Food Delivery Drivers Behind the Wheel?’ by Inside Edition

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
Food delivery average wait: 35 min, accidents, DUI concerns, driver pressure, company denials.

Key Insights

  • Average wait time for food delivery is about 35 minutes.
  • Some delivery drivers may feel pressured to speed up their deliveries.
  • The video highlights accidents caused by delivery drivers, including fatal incidents.
  • Todd Burton, a delivery driver charged with vehicular homicide, continued to make deliveries between the accident and his incarceration.
  • Over 1,000 civil lawsuits have been filed alleging accidents caused by delivery drivers of DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats since 2016.
  • The number of alleged accidents nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020.
  • All three companies claim to perform thorough and periodic background checks.
  • Some drivers have previous DUI records, raising concerns about their suitability for the delivery service.
  • Delivery drivers may be under pressure to complete orders quickly to maximize earnings.
  • Industry experts suggest that fast deliveries can increase earnings per hour.
  • Studies show that driving for commercial purposes can be twice as risky.
  • The video demonstrates instances of delivery drivers speeding and disregarding traffic rules.
  • Some drivers admit to feeling pressure to drive fast, while others prioritize safety.
  • The importance of safe driving is emphasized by a grieving family who lost a loved one due to a delivery accident.
  • Food delivery companies deny encouraging unsafe driving and state that they perform background checks.
  • DoorDash has introduced a program allowing drivers to earn a regular wage regardless of the number of deliveries.

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Transcript

The average wait time when you order food in is about 35 minutes, but are some drivers feeling the pressure to speed up their deliveries and driving too fast? Stephen Fabian reports.

With apps like Uber Eats, Grubhub, and DoorDash, it’s easier than ever to get your favorite food delivered to your door. But how safe are some delivery drivers when they’re behind the wheel?

Watch as this delivery driver slams into a pedestrian trying to cross the road at night. Tiffany Reed was killed almost instantly.

“They left her there like a piece of trash, like they just ran over a paper bag and just kept moving.”

The driver was 21-year-old Todd Burton. In deposition, Burton said he was logged into multiple delivery apps that night, including Postmates and DoorDash.

Burton was charged with vehicular homicide, but that didn’t stop him from driving. Between the crash and when he was ultimately incarcerated, he continued to make deliveries. According to his DoorDash pay history, he delivered about 1,000 more orders over the course of a year before he pleaded guilty.

The question is not, do I know who’s delivering my food? Do they know who’s delivering their food for them?

Tiffany Reed’s family is suing Burton, Grubhub, Postmates, and DoorDash. They all deny any wrongdoing.

Over the past five months, the Inside Edition investigative team looked into court records for DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats, and we found over 1,000 civil lawsuits filed since 2016 that alleged delivery drivers using their apps caused accidents. And as the pandemic began and the delivery business boomed, the number of alleged accidents almost doubled from 2019 to 2020.

All three companies told us they performed thorough and periodic background checks. Our research shows a third of those lawsuits alleged that the driver should never have been behind the wheel, including this driver, Andrew Berger. He’s charged with killing Sylvia Velasco, a California mother of four, while under the influence and on a delivery for Uber Eats.

Ted Wacker and Michael Kalacki represent the Velasco family who are suing Uber Eats.

“There was not only evidence of alcohol in open containers. He appears to have been exceeding 90 miles an hour, and some witnesses put him at over 100 miles an hour as he was approaching the collision. If you just pull his criminal record or his DMV record, he had two prior DUIs.”

He pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. It was discovered that this driver had two DUIs previously.

Anna, should he ever have been driving for a delivery service?

“No. I don’t understand how he even had a license.”

Uber Eats told us, as required by California law, they checked back seven years and his record was clean. Berger’s two DUIs happened in 2010 and 2012, so they were never flagged.

But the question still remains, are drivers coming under pressure to make their deliveries as fast as possible? Industry expert, Harry Campbell, thinks so.

“DoorDash and Uber Eats are huge in doing millions of deliveries every single day. If you’re a delivery driver and you see a yellow light and you speed through that, and you’re able to get to the restaurant two minutes faster, you can now finish that order quicker and you can start your next job faster and make more money per hour.”

Ryan McMahon runs Cambridge Mobile Telematics and has studied how rideshare workers drive.

“What have you noticed about delivery app drivers?”

When they’re driving for commercial purpose, it can actually be double the amount of risk.

We wanted to see how some delivery app drivers behave behind the wheel, so we went out to the suburbs of New Jersey and placed some orders. When the drivers picked up the food, we followed them on their route back to the drop-off point where I was waiting.

“So my producers were following you.”

“My producers were following you. Did you know you were being followed?”

“No.”

We watched this DoorDash driver speed along this twisty road and also saw him roll through this stop sign.

He’s taking these curves fast and tight. My producers were following you and they think that you were going about 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

“Okay.”

They also saw you rolling right through a stop sign. Do you remember that?

“I don’t remember that, but I guess it’s possible.”

Do you feel pressure to go too fast to your deliveries?

“I mean, I think it definitely has a factor because as soon as you finish an order, you can just get another one and if you can do it faster and faster, eventually those minutes add up.”

This other DoorDash driver also admitted to rushing while on his route.

“But you were going really fast.”

“Oh, on the highway. Oh yeah, when I get on the highway, I go a little bit over the limit. Not too much. I try to stay about 10.”

But this Uber Eats driver, well, we thought he did great.

“Do you always drive safely? And if so, why?”

“Always. It’s not just because of me. It’s because of others. I always care about, you know, I mean, nobody wants to have an accident.”

This grieving family says food delivery companies may offer a great service, but it shouldn’t cost someone’s life.

“My mom’s life was taking over $30 of food.”

DoorDash, Uber Eats, and Grubhub say their apps do not encourage unsafe driving, that they perform thorough and periodic background checks on all drivers. And DoorDash also says they’ve started a new program which allows drivers to earn a regular wage without worrying about the number of deliveries they make.

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How Safe Are Some Food Delivery Drivers Behind the Wheel?’ by Inside Edition