According to Canadian Occupational Health and Safety, delivery drivers face many health and safety risks. (File photo)

According to Canadian Occupational Health and Safety, delivery drivers face many health and safety risks. (File photo)

‘Frustrated’: Saanich delivery driver urges people to at least turn on lights

Food app drivers face increased risks during fall and winter

It’s that time of year again when it’s cold and hunger strikes and so a strong wind may blow you over to using a food delivery app.

As the season progresses, it becomes colder and darker earlier, making it more common for people to stay in and order grub.

But for the people delivering that food, fall and winter driving conditions offer significant risks to their safety.

Saanich Skip the Dishes driver Victoria Diewert said in an interview that ensuring you have your lights on and providing adequate instructions will help ensure the safety of delivery drivers during times of decreased visibility.

“I was on a delivery, and I had walked up, and my GPS said you had arrived at your destination,” said Diewert. “I looked to the left and it was dark at all three houses along that road.”

After checking each number in the dark, she noticed an uneven stepping rock that she narrowly avoided. After scanning the premises several times, she finally spotted the address painted on a rock that was not visible from the street.

“I was frustrated, and I made a comment to myself and thought I need to do something about this and at least say something,” Diewert said.

Delivery drivers are an essential part of the economy, and the food and beverage industry, but it is also one of the occupations that poses a special set of safety challenges. Since the pandemic, contactless delivery has become a popular choice for food delivery and an occupation due to its flexibility.

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Many spend a long time on the road, and with winter approaching, they are more at risk of getting in an accident. According to the Canadian Occupational Health and Safety, vehicle or bicycle incidents, slips, trips, falls and dog bites are just some health and safety issues faced by delivery drivers.

Working for Skip the Dishes for just over a year, she decided to voice her concerns not only because of the safety issues, but because it would make the delivery process much faster and smoother for those who order.

Diewert said remembering to be courteous and provide adequate and current delivery instructions can mitigate the risk that delivery drivers must take when searching for a house. If your street is dark or has challenging terrain, it’s thoughtful to inform your delivery driver before they arrive.

“Having the number lit up and making yourself visible … that way, it doesn’t delay things and make it easier for us,” said Diewert.

She says another frustrating thing is finding an address only for the customer to inform her it’s actually across the street. However, she did mention that there are safety precautions that delivery drivers take to ensure their safety, such as carrying a flashlight, driving responsibly, and wearing the appropriate safety footwear and high-visibility clothing.

As a mother and full-time funeral director, she does Skip the Dishes on the side to help earn some extra cash and added that keeping in mind particular practises for each delivery will keep the food fairies much safer.

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