The risk of ridesharing and how to avoid them

Ups and Downs of the Rideshare Industry

Ridesharing services became a booming business since Uber came on the scene in 2009. This California-based company changed how we look at transportation. In truth, it made travel more accessible in many parts of the United States, where public transit is unavailable and the rising cost of owning a vehicle left some stranded. Lyft joined the craze in 2013.

No longer having to wait for a bus nor hail a cab, the concept of ridesharing took off and hasn’t stopped since. Had a little too much fun at the bar? Use your smartphone and order an Uber to take you home. Car in the repair shop and you need a source of transportation to get you to work in a timely manner? Request a Lyft pick-up. The rideshare service industry undoubtedly serves a great purpose for many.

Aside from the patrons in Fullerton and across Orange County who utilize rideshare services, the rideshare industry also has had an economic impact. In the state of CA alone, Uber and Lyft combined to employ over 500,000 people. These are certainly undeniable positive benefits of the rideshare industry. However, while we appreciate the benefits, there is a dangerous side to ride sharing services, as well.

Rushing

We have all heard the phrase time is money. For some, however, time is literally affecting their livelihood. This is the case for rideshare drivers for companies such as Uber and Lyft.

Speeding is one of the leading causes of accidents involving rideshare services. Rideshare drivers earn their income per each trip they accept and complete. This alone gives them an incentive to drive above the posted speed limit. Furthermore, rideshare companies often provide incentives for completing X amount of trips with a certain time frame. Passengers also encourage unsafe driving practices like speeding. In turn, the passengers will give high ratings to drivers who get them to their destination quickest and will sometimes tip more.

Why Making Every Dollar Counts

Typical rideshare drivers in Fullerton, California make a median income between $16,000 and $52,000 a year. However, the cost of living in Fullerton is 32% higher than the national average, so the effort to bring in more income is not uncommon.

Furthermore, the cost of owning a vehicle in California is expensive. Even though Transportation Network Companies like Uber or Lyft offer insurance coverage while their ridesharing drivers are picking up and dropping off customers, a personal auto insurance is still required. An insurance company will also increase your personal car insurance premium should the car be used as a ride sharing service vehicle. The cost of one’s personal auto policy, maintenance, and gas often lowers the overall income of an Uber or Lyft driver.

Speeding and the Dangers It Poses

While rideshare drivers’ speeding can cause collisions on its own, speeding in unison with other dangerous behaviors can make an accident far worse. Other threatening factors that contribute to catastrophic car accidents include the following.

Road Conditions

Speeding can lead drivers to underestimate road conditions. As with any service industry vocation, rideshare drivers aspire to offer the best service to their clients. At times rideshare drivers will risk driving in harsh weather and road conditions to transport their clients, and worse will speed while doing so. While they have the best intentions, this serious lapse in judgment can lead to crashes.

Lack of Experience

Lack of experience driving passengers or driving in general leads to ride sharing drivers being more prone to speed. Whether they are younger or older drivers, some possess the ability to drive in a safe manner. However, not all drivers have dealt with chauffeuring multiple passengers at once before.

Between the additional noise of the app’s GPS directions and dialogue between passengers, there are many new challenges and distractions Uber and Lyft drivers must undertake. For example, unlike taxi drivers, rideshare drivers often have to interact with the ride sharing app while driving. They may have to take their eyes off of the road for a few seconds in order to accept their next ride. If a ride isn’t accepted in the first few seconds, that ride will often go to another Uber or Lyft driver.

Furthermore, if a driver does not have adequate driving experience, like in situations where a seasoned driver may take caution to slow down, it may cause a novice driver to prematurely accelerate. Thus, accidents are more likely to occur.

Driving While Drowsy

Driving while drowsy can lead rideshare drivers to speed or swerve into other lanes. The logic behind speeding is that if they speed, then they will arrive at their destination sooner and won’t be driving while drowsy for longer than necessary. Drifting in and out of lanes is likely from dozing off while the vehicle is still moving.

Rideshare drivers are often tasked with picking up passengers late into the evening or in early morning hours–during a period of time in which they would typically be sleeping. Driving in a sleepy state inevitably causes accidents.

Missing Traffic Signs

When a driver is speeding, they can easily miss road sign warnings, run changing traffic lights, or even haphazardly make illegal turns or other illegal behavior. Failure to respond correctly to any of these areas will lead to a serious collision accident.

This is negligent on the part of the rideshare driver. Rideshare drivers are not performing these acts just for the sake of it. They can be influenced by their passengers and want to serve them to the greatest degree. The idea of arriving at a destination quickly draws them to perform this way. Failing to follow traffic laws is a common way rideshare drivers neglect correct safety procedures.

Experience Matter in Rideshare Cases

If you were in an Uber accident or Lyft accident, you only have two years to file a personal injury claim. Therefore, you will need to act quickly and work with a law firm that has experience handling rideshare accident cases.

Allow us to help you bring all liable parties to justice and get you the compensation you deserve. Call Commonwealth Accident Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation.

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