How would you treat this accident and why

Discussion in 'UPS Discussions' started by dannyboy, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Now after reading this accident report as published in the paper (and we know how accurate they are), how do you charge this accident?

    First, from the way I read it, and I had to re read it twice, the driver was turning left when the cycle hit her on the left rear bumper while in the other lane. That would make it sound like the cycle was trying to get around the driver as she turned, making it totally the cyclists fault.

    The way I read it, our driver did everything by the book, if she used her turn signal, but the guy on the cycle decided to go around anyway. Big mistake.

    Best I can tell, it should be an unavoidable accident for the driver.

    Not that it changes much.

  2. sendagain

    sendagain Member

    It looks as though the motorcycle tried to pass her when she was making a left turn. I knew a guy in high school that died the very same way. Legally, there is nothing that they can do to her, but the company will find a way to hold her accountable. Now, they may find her blameless in order to avoid a lawsuit, but if it had been only a fender bender, they would tell her she should have known about the motorcycle coming up on her rear.
  3. rngri4

    rngri4 New Member

    What does it matter? UPS will anyway it can make it the UPS drivers fault, and you better believe, punishment will be handed down!
  4. palguy

    palguy Member

    I agree with the other post, if UPS punishes the driver then they are in a way admitting fault. Besides, what is the purpose of this thread?
  5. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    If you have to ask, then you missed the purpose.

    Pal, sorry you feel the way you do. In the past our center has been that way, the only way you would not have been charged is if an airplane fell from the sky and hit your package car. We did have a teen that hit the back of one of the cars while the driver was making a delivery and killed himself, and they ruled that one as unavoidable.

    But we had a driver that was parked, clarifying a signature (on paper) and a trash truck backed into him, pinning him inside for several hours until they cut him out, and they charged him with an accident.

    So it would seem there is no real logical way that UPS determines that one is avoidable or not.

    I would love to see a panel of drivers and management that make that decision, with the final say given to the district manager. But the panel would recommend avoidable or not. I think that would make it more even from one accident to another, and not left up to the whims of the delivery or center manager.

    This would also, IMHO, make the safety committee mean something to the rest of the drivers. Until drivers or other hourly workers see that they can impact the way things are done, and not just do busy work that is mandated by OSHA or whom ever the taste of the month lies.

    Just my thoughts.

  6. Jones

    Jones fILE A GRIEVE! Staff Member

    In many ways the idea of a panel made up of both hourly and management sounds like a fair way to do it, but it still has some serious (in my view) problems. How objective will it be when it's a driver that everyone likes? Or dislikes? Or a driver that the hourlies like and management doesn't? The hourly members will still be under pressure from the union to cut the driver a break, and will also be in the uncomfortable position of having to face their coworkers if they support a panel decision that leads to a termination.

    An idea that I've been mulling over is that the company should contract with an outside agency that specializes in accident reconstruction and has no vested interest in the result of the investigation one way or the other. I doubt the company would ever be willing to give up that much control over the process though, which is also why I ultimately think they wouldn't go for the panel idea either. Plus they don't like paying someone else to do something that they can have their own people do for free (I don't blame them for that either, it's a valid concern).
  7. browniehound

    browniehound Well-Known Member

    The company will say she should have check her mirror before making a left turn therefore being avoidable
  8. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    Always blame the dead guy. Goes along with:

    When in doubt, empty your magazine.

    Dead men tell no lies.
  9. speeddemon

    speeddemon Guest

    The company will say its her fault no matter what.
  10. rushfan

    rushfan Well-Known Member

    Here there have been several motorcycle accidents where the cyclist hits the back of vehicles. I have seen them follow vehicles too close. Not to label which bikers are the worst, but IMHO the young crotch rocket riders are the worst.
  11. JD in MA/CA

    JD in MA/CA New Member

    Even if the UPS driver had checked her left mirror before making the turn, it might not have mattered if the closing speed of the motorcycle was excessive.

    If the motorcyclist crossed a double-yellow and was speeding, it's not the UPS driver's fault.
  12. wkmac

    wkmac Well-Known Member

    I'm really surprised that this hasn't bit UPS in the butt bigtime. What I mean is it will only take some enterprising lawyer who learns or already understands the UPS method concerning accidents and then sues UPS on behalf of a client that the police charged as at fault. In civil suits, what the police say doesn't always hold the weight that you think it would but what would happen if some lawyer via lawsuit used the discovery process to obtain internal UPS documents form both UPS and the IBT and then show that to a jury? Juries can do funny things these days so I do believe at some point if it hasn't happened already that this process the the company uses will be turned against them.

    It's admiral on the one hand to hold to such a high standard but at the same time I do believe it's loaded with abuse. I have seen accidents where the they were declared avoidable and for the life of me couldn't see how. My neighbor who at one time was a severe/fatality traffic investigator for a local police jurisdiction told me of one UPS accident that he heard of in his area (no injuries so he wasn't directly involved) where the police ruled the other party clearly at fault but then heard UPS held the UPS driver responsible internally. He told me that they discussed the accident in detail just to make sure they didn't miss anything and as a training type of exercise. They came to the ultimate cause of the wreck and blamed the customer and UPS itself as had they not sent that driver there with the package in the first place the accident would have never occurred. In their minds the only thing the driver could have done to avoid the wreck was lay out of work that day.
  13. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND


    That is one of the reasons why that decision should never be allowed to be made at just the delivery or center manager level. There is too much internal crap that gets in the way.

    I would love to see a panel that would hear cases of chargeable accidents as to whether they were avoidable or not. That way drivers would have a way to appeal the local decision based on fact and not if the driver is in favor, or the manager feels that charging each driver will earn a faster track to the top.

    We had one here that lost his safe driving years because he broke a mirror on a branch that was hanging in the roadway, while trying to avoid a head on with a school bus. Even the bus driver admitted it was his fault. And as stated, the only damage was a broken mirror. But because of no appeal process, the avoidable accident charge stuck.

    Maybe that if the teamsters really cared, they could work this into the contract. A panel of even numbers of UPS hourly and the business agent and a management led by the district safety manager, and an independent third party. And no one knows what the total votes were, just avoidable or not. That way, any pressure on either party would be null.

    I really believe that this would work if implemented properly. But if a sham, well, drivers can smell one a mile away.

  14. happybob

    happybob Feeders

    As you now all accidents at UPS are avoidable. Avoidable if we had stayed home that day. It should be clear that this type of accident you mentioned Dan should never be charged to the driver. It will be the companies choice to charge the driver whichever way it wants. It appears they usually charge the driver and maybe it's because of the safe driver program. It saves the company money when they charge us, ie. a lower cost to the award program. I agree with you that a committee set up with equal parts worker and management could help, but regret that it would probably work the same way our grievance panels do. The workers would vote for the worker and management members will vote the company line, with the division manager, your prefered tie breaker, allways voting the company line. It's a program run by the company, with no union input, so the results will allways be the same. They can say avoidable whenever they feel like it. I have allways been of the opnion that we should only be charged with an accident when the local police department claims we are at fault.
  15. So if the PD determines you're at fault you'll accept full financial responsibility?

    I thought not.

    That's why you don't get a say in the matter.
  16. happybob

    happybob Feeders

    Thats what vehicle insurance is for.

    If your at fault in an accident the company will charge you with an avoidable accident. If you are not at fault you dont get charged as avoidable.
  17. tieguy

    tieguy Banned

    This subject is always a thread burner. The discussion is really splitting into two different areas, chargability and avoidability. There is a difference. We have accidents all the time where our driver did not cause the accident but could have done something different to prevent the accident.
  18. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    Tie, you are correct. Splitting hairs over two different issues, but yet we speak of them as one and the same.

    As far as being at fault, yes there is a slight possibility that had the driver looked into the rear view mirror, the guy might still be alive. But again maybe not.

    When you are turning across on coming traffic, your attention is and should be on the clear path you will be taking.

    And yes, I know that those million mile safe drivers expect the unexpected and avoid many incidents that most of us do not. I have heard all that before. Like I said, the only unavoidable accident you can have at UPS is for a plane to drop out of the sky and hit you from above. But is that really a fair assessment of the accident here.

    I think there should be a reasonable litmus test when charging a driver with an accident. And not that the driver did everything possible to avoid the accident. But rather that the driver showed that he did everything within the normal scope of delivery to avoid the accident.

    As far as the panel issue, yes there would be problems. But I think that most people, if given true anonymity, would vote on the proof given and not along party lines. That applies to management and hourly alike. And that is why I think this type of system would work.

    With all said and done Tie, you did not issue your opinion as to avoidable or un?

    d PS To the anon poster, you missed the T in your board name ;)
  19. over9five

    over9five Moderator Staff Member

    I think UPS shoots itself in the foot when it blanketly labels 98% of accidents as avoidable.

    Do you think these drivers now represent the company in the best light anymore? The company that gigged them with an avoidable when the police say it's the other guys fault? Probably not.

    Do you think these drivers are out there drumming up business and submitting sales leads? I doubt it.

    Remember. The company does not have to lay this "avoidable" BS on 98% of accidents. So why do they?? What does it gain them? I don't think they're trying to reduce costs by getting out of paying for those (cheap) safe driving awards. And I do believe it costs them far more than it's saving them.

    What it is, is a huge moral crushing system that costs the company millions.
  20. dannyboy

    dannyboy From the promised LAND

    IT has and it does. The days of us lining up at attention is long gone. BUt some of the attitudes of the management personel longs for those times when UPS was run like the military.