Rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft are extremely popular these days. They have also made news in recent years for the certain risks associated with them. One of those risks is that an Uber, just like any other vehicle, can become involved in an uber accident. According to a report written by Uber, there were 58 fatalities that resulted from crashes involving an Uber driver. The majority of the stories in the news, however, have focused on other kinds of dangers drivers and passengers face. The report also stated that there were a total of 3,045 sexual assaults associated with rideshare companies in 2019.
Due to these risks, it is important that everyone understands Uber safety tips that will keep them protected during their ride.
Car accidents are one of the main Uber safety concerns. According to a rideshare study conducted by the Booth School at the University of Chicago in 2018, ridesharing has caused traffic fatalities to increase by 3% across the country. It may seem impossible to avoid a car accident when you are not in control of the vehicle. However, there are ways you can help ensure that your Uber driver does not get into a crash while carrying you as a passenger.
The first way you can help avoid a crash is to not tell your Uber driver that you are in a hurry or that you need to get somewhere fast. Uber drivers rely heavily on ratings from passengers, as this helps them get more requests for a ride and therefore, make more money. When a passenger asks them to get somewhere quickly, they may speed in order to comply with the request and to get a better rating. Speed is one of the main causes of car accidents on the road and so, it is important to do whatever you can to ensure your Uber driver does not speed.
Along with speeding, distracted driving is another leading cause of car accidents. Many people only think of texting and driving when they think about distracted driving, but there are many other types of distractions, as well. Although it may seem friendly to strike up a conversation with your Uber driver, that can also take their focus away from the road and cause a crash. If you have to make a request to the driver, only do so when the vehicle is at a full stop. If you are traveling with other passengers, it is just as important to make sure you are not rowdy, which is another big distraction for drivers.
Lastly, just like when getting into any vehicle, it is essential that you always wear a seatbelt when in an Uber. Although this will not prevent an accident, it will help keep you safe in the event that you are involved in a ridesharing crash.
Unfortunately, women are at much greater risk when they get into an Uber. In 2019, there were a total of 3,000 reported sexual assaults on women traveling in Ubers, and many more that went unreported. For this reason, it is essential that all passengers consider some important rideshare safety tips.
Within the Uber app, you are able to see your driver’s name, photo, and license plate. It is essential to verify these when your Uber arrives to pick you up. There have been stories in the news of people who got into a car driven by someone who was posing as a ridesharing driver in order to carry out an assault.
You should try to avoid riding in an Uber alone, but when you cannot, always ride in the back. Before getting in, always check the doors to ensure any child safety features are in the ‘off’ position. These features lock the doors from the outside, preventing the door from opening. If these locks are on and the driver attempts an assault, you will be trapped and unable to get out.
Many Uber assaults also happen at peak times, such as on weekends and when people are intoxicated. For this reason, avoid taking an Uber alone, especially if you have been drinking. It is always better to travel with a friend, take public transit, or call a taxi, where an assault is less likely to happen because taxi drivers are not contractors the same way Uber drivers are.
Lastly, any time an Uber driver makes you uncomfortable, ask the driver to stop at a safe place so you can get out of the vehicle.
Sadly, it is not only passengers who are the victims of assault and other crimes. Certain passengers also pose a risk to Uber drivers, particularly if the driver is female.
To avoid being a victim of crime if you are an Uber driver, always alert friends and family when you are on the job, and where you will be driving, if possible. Passengers are also aware of their driver’s name before they get into a vehicle and so, it is important to have them verify your name. This will ensure that when a person states that they were the ones that requested a ride, they are who they say they are.
Just as female passengers should try to avoid riding at night, particularly if they are intoxicated, female drivers should also try to avoid driving during peak crime times. If a passenger is drunk, it is also important to remember that you can refuse to take them in your vehicle.
If you have been hurt in an Uber or other ridesharing accident, you need the help of our Long Island car accident lawyers at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP. All car crashes are complex, but accidents involving a ridesharing vehicle are even more complicated. There could be multiple insurance companies involved, and determining fault will not be easy. Our attorneys have the necessary experience to investigate and determine who was at fault, and hold the liable insurance company accountable for paying the compensation you deserve. If you have been hurt, call us today at (516) 358-6900 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.