Motor Vehicle Accidents Ridesharing Accidents
For consumers, rideshare options like Lyft and Uber are an answer to practicing safe driving while still enjoying everyday life; however, recent data suggests rideshare programs have quickly become a source of serious issues across the country, including sexual assault against passengers as well as an increase in serious motor vehicle accidents.
Ridesharing is a great resource eliminating potential dangers such as impaired drivers who could harm others if they were behind the wheel. While rideshare programs offer a safe option for consumers in these scenarios, they have created their own additional problems. A study conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University on the impact of rideshares on fatal accidents found cities with rideshare services had a 3% increase in fatal accidents. These ridesharing accidents included motor vehicle occupant fatalities as well as pedestrians.
When drivers are appropriately and adequately vetted, ridesharing can be an ideal resource for many. Passengers trust rideshare companies with their safety every time they order from their services yet numerous offenses without action spotlight the need for increased safety measures across ridesharing platforms.
Causes of Rideshare Accidents
Rideshare programs have increased congestion on roads and subsequently caused an increase in car accidents. The ease and accessibility of ordering a ride through an app and of becoming a rideshare driver has come at a price for many. Unfortunately, the majority of fatal rideshare accidents are preventable. Reckless driver behavior increased fatal collisions caused by rideshare drivers, necessitating more to be done by rideshare companies to ensure the safety of all on the road.
Rideshare programs require the driver to use a smartphone while picking up and dropping off customers. Rideshare drivers are more likely to be distracted by using their phones while driving due to various tasks including navigating the rideshare application, texting on the phone, talking on the phone, and looking at directions. These actions divert a driver’s attention from the road; and, when picking up consumers during peak hours in congested areas, a lack of attention could be fatal for bystanders.
It’s common for rideshare drivers to travel beyond their typical commuting areas in order to make more trips. This can affect driver behavior, in that drivers unfamiliar with an area are likely to make wrong turns, disobey posted traffic signs, and use smartphones to navigate the area. This can result in frustration and a lack of attention, causing the driver to make serious errors.
Rideshare drivers’ profits are based on the number of completed trips made. Drivers intentionally speed, putting passengers and those who share the road with them at risk. Speeding is consistently a top cause of serious collisions that result in life altering injuries and even death. Injuries associated with speeding-related accidents tend to be more catastrophic due to the increased force a vehicle has on impact at an accelerated speed.
Rideshare Sexual Assault
Rideshare apps are supposed to offer safe passage for riders. When drivers make the responsible decision to not get behind the wheel and trust a rideshare driver to safely drop them at their destinations. Unfortunately, it’s a grim reality that rideshare drivers take advantage of passengers, intentionally inflicting physical harm. In 2018, more than 3,000 rideshare consumers reported sexual assault by drivers. Rideshare companies have a responsibility to properly vet drivers to ensure those with criminal backgrounds (especially including sexual assault) are not given the opportunity to harm riders. Sexual assault by drivers does not have to involve forcible intercourse to be actionable. Such attacks can involve unwanted advances and actions from drivers, including inappropriate touching, lewd language and gestures, kissing and groping, and more.
Rideshare Accident Attorneys
Rideshare companies have a responsibility to the consumers who utilize their services and to those who share the roads with them. Unfortunately, companies like Lyft and Uber have avoided taking responsibility for the negative impacts their applications have had on communities across the nation, leaving consumers with the burden of medical bills and serious injuries. No consumers should have to face rideshare giants and the legal complexities associated with rideshare accidents alone. If you or a loved one were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact experienced attorney John Flood to advocate for your rights and just compensation. There is limited time to act after your accident, so contact us today for more information on how we can help.