Right now, who is waiting for you at home? Maybe you are an international student and your parents are miles away from you but the only thing that keeps you motivated is that one call from them at day's end. No matter what your story is, there are people who keep wishing you would turn up, safe and sound, every day.
It surely is a lengthy process to claim your worker's compensation against any injury or loss and often it is a limited monetary sum that may or may not cover for all the costs you have incurred. Besides, can any amount of money truly compensate for an unpredictable harm or loss to your health? You are an independent worker in the industry with the sole responsibilities for your vehicle's safety, your own safety as well as the secured completion of every delivery you make.
Therefore, it is important to take precautions, use safety gears and be aware of the surroundings you are riding through.
We have arranged a list of effective and easy measures you should take to avoid road accident, not be fined, follow safety laws and drive safe:
1. Use a helmet
It is the most essential step before you start out on your delivery trips. Never ride your bicycle, e-bike or motor bike without a safety helmet. A helmet alone reduces chances of fatal head injuries by 60% and gives you constant safety from any object hitting you with speed in the middle of riding.
2. Be careful sharing the road
To avoid accidents with pedestrians, other two-wheelers, cars or even heavy vehicles like trucks, you should always be careful to keep within the bike lane if available. Always be mindful about what speed you are riding at, when nearing a pedestrian crossing you should always slow down and never try to overtake another vehicle by changing lanes.
When you are passing by heavier vehicles like a bus or a truck try to avoid their blind spots i.e. right under the driver's window. If you are in a bus lane, ride your bike on the left side of the bus.
Although these are the most important general guidelines you should follow when riding your bike alongside others, you must also learn about any specific rules incorporated by different states before working there as a food delivery rider. Please find additional rules you should follow at busy places like roundabouts, lanes and by-roads here. Follow these to be safe from unsafe incidents as well as unwanted fines!
(sourced: bike-rider safety, VicRoads)
3. Avoiding car door crashing
It is understandable if you are running late for an Uber Eats order or completing several DoorDash deliveries in one day, you must keep up good speed. But that should not compromise with your personal safety. Remember to be careful around parked cars since statistics show over 20% of injuries from crashing into car doors have been fatal for delivery bike riders.
Slow down when crossing by a long line of parked cars. Keep a safe distance from the car door if possible, if not, try to signal in the side mirror that you are approaching. these accidents occur mostly in the CBD and Melbourne areas.
4. Working at night or in bad weather
When it comes to earning some extra cash, you will definitely be willing to take the risk of riding through wet weather. However the rain increases road safety issues by increasing chances of fatal accidents by two times than usual. In some cases even wearing a helmet is not enough.
Please make sure that your bike brakes work efficiently before setting out in bad weather. As a delivery partner it will be easier for you to accept more orders since many other riders do not take the inconvenience of driving in the rain. But that is also the reason why there will be surge hours for rideshare drivers and there will be more cars on the road than usual. Try to ride at a safe speed to avoid the risk of skidding.
Use high visibility stickers and jackets to be easily visible to trucks, buses and cars from a longer distance or in heavy rain. Make sure your bike tires have working grippers.
5. Get Insured
Better safe than sorry. The biggest threat to an easy lifestyle is financial safety issues. Food delivery companies or online platforms pairing you up with other door-to-door delivery services do not take responsibility for your social, physical or economical security.
When it comes to gig workers asking for compensation against injuries or damages suffered on-duty, there are not many successful cases of imbursement. It is your responsibility to look after your health and your vehicle's health. Please opt for insurance before starting part-time delivery or even if you already have, it is not too late. There are platforms like Life Insurance Australia , and Finder.com.au which help you compare the best available insurance packages.
Over all safety standards for food and other delivery bike riders:
The Gig Economy has been flourishing ever since its full establishment as a convenient way for everybody to get things delivered to their doorstep. Especially, during the pandemic the trends have recorded a sudden boom in food delivery platforms who are urging people to stay at home and just order away at their will.
This in turn has led to employment of hundreds of people who lost their jobs in the last two years. But does the truth comply with the statistics? Last year, the six brutal deaths of food delivery drivers on the road shook people to their cores.
On an average, one delivery rider has suffered severe injuries every eleven days in the last quarter of 2020. But things have started to change. Government research shows proven statistics claiming 70% decrease in injuries suffered by gig workers on the road. Road safety measures are constantly being updated, active vigilance has been increased and awareness on bike and bicycle rules is being raised.
Even though each worker's safety is an equal responsibility of the government, you, in your turn, are expected to stay aware and alert about the surroundings while you deliver, especially during the busy hours. Your livelihood and the people you care for are more dependent on your safety than how much you were able to push the limits for the day. Please follow the road safety rules, try to be equipped with basic safety gear and ride at a controllable speed.