As ridesharing came onto the scene in 2009, with Uber and Lyft dominating the taxi industry, accidents have not only increased, but other risk factors have risen too. As a passenger being at risk, you may end up in a situation where you are involved in an accident. Who do you call? Who can help you pay your medical bills? With so many questions, an Uber accident attorney can help!
Why do we rideshare?
One of the main reasons why people rideshare is convenience! Simply get on an app for Lyft or Uber and get to where you want to go in minutes – hassle-free. More than 37% of Lyft users don’t own a car. Let’s explore the many other ways that we rideshare:
- You can go cashless – Unlike a traditional taxi, you don’t have to carry cash to get to where you need to be.
- Don’t drink and drive – It is convenient to call an Uber when you’re ready to leave a party, and you have had a cocktail or two.
- Reliability – Have you ever called a taxi and stared at the clock, wondering when they would show up? Uber apps allow you to track your drivers’ location.
While ridesharing has some benefits, there are some risks involved.
Let’s Look at the Facts
As of the last quarter of 2020, there were 93 million Uber passengers, and as of the start of 2021, there are 3.5 million Uber drivers. There has been an increase of 3% of fatalities in traffic accidents since ridesharing services began to boom. That means over 1,000 deaths each year are caused by Uber or Lyft drivers! 30% of these were pedestrians, and 2% were cyclists.
Vehicle miles traveled since ridesharing started has increased the annual number of traffic-related injuries and fatalities. While you may be thinking that these numbers are still low, we have to account for 3.5 out of 100,000 nonfatal accidents.
Top Causes of Rideshare Accidents in California
- Drowsy drivers – Many Uber or Lyft drivers do ridesharing as a side hustle to make extra money after their regular day job. This added workload can cause them to be fatigued, thus driving while drowsy. It is a common cause of rideshare accidents.
- Distractions – Drivers may get distracted by their rowdy passengers after a night out in the backseat or passengers who want to interact with them socially.
- Drunk driving – Rideshare drivers under the influence can put themselves, their passengers, and pedestrians at risk for injury.
- Speeding – Rideshare drivers rely on ratings and good customer service for their continued work and tips. They might speed to get their passengers to their destinations on time, putting everyone at risk of being injured.
Uber and Lyft drivers have to be 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license for a minimum of three years in the United States, and a clean driving record. These drivers undergo no driver training. As a passenger getting into an Uber, you don’t know how quickly they will react to extreme weather conditions or dangerous situations encountered on the road.
While ridesharing is sometimes unavoidable for some people, there are still ways you can protect yourself when ordering an Uber or Lyft:
- Select a driver with many positive reviews. Pay close attention to those saying he is a cautious and safe driver.
- Before getting into your Uber, ask the driver what YOUR name is to ensure he is the right driver.
- Reveal to the driver that a third-party app is tracking your trip.
- Don’t choose the seat directly behind the driver. Sitting on the opposite side will create space between you two. Now you can see the driver and have a better view of the road. You can know if they are using their phone while driving or doing something else that can cause distractions.
- Wear your seatbelt – always!
- It’s okay to go slow – don’t let your driver know you are in a huge hurry. They might speed to make sure you get there on time. Another minute late is better than a potential accident.
Steps to follow after a rideshare accident
Call 911 immediately before doing anything and then see if you or anyone else has gotten hurt. Don’t leave the scene until help arrives and give your statement to the police officer. Be honest with the responders and don’t leave any details out. Your opinion on what happened may be taken into account when finding who is at fault. If you don’t already have your driver’s name, get this information and take a screenshot of your receipt. Contact a friend or family member to fetch you or meet you at the hospital for support.
Rideshare drivers, under California law, must have up to a $1 million bodily injury liability policy and $1 million uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This ensures suitable cover for passengers who may have been hurt in the accident or protect them from claims that may arise.
Ensure that you contact an uber accident lawyer to look at your case, as you may have a claim against the driver and rideshare company! Your attorney will inform you of your rights in terms of compensation and what the next steps are.
No service comes without risk. That is why it is essential to have the best rideshare attorney! Under California law, rideshare accident claims fall under personal injury claims. Your rideshare accident attorney will determine who the negligent party was in the accident.
In the event of a rideshare accident, you need a qualified and reliable rideshare accident attorney. You are entitled to having the best possible representation, and we are here to help you!