Uber, Lyft and Rideshare Safety: What You Need to Know

Posted By Regan Zambri Long, PLLC || 28-Dec-2017

Rideshare apps like Uber, Lyft and others have exploded in popularity in recent years. Procuring a ride is easy to do, easier to pay for and often cheaper than hiring a cab. However, the question remains: Are you truly safe riding with an Uber or Lyft driver? Here’s what you need to know before getting in the car.

Driver Experience and Qualifications

Qualifying to drive with Uber or Lyft is remarkably simple—some say too simple. Since taxis come under limousine rules in most states, drivers have to run through a stricter set of qualifications in order to drive them. For this reason, a rideshare driver may not have the same level of experience or qualifications as a cab driver, meaning the risk for accidents goes up.

Background Checks

Virtually all rideshare companies claim to run background checks on their drivers; however, history has exposed some loopholes in the process that have allowed drivers with violent criminal records to slip through the cracks. The website Who’s Driving You keeps a running tally of reported crimes and other incidents involving Uber/Lyft drivers worldwide. Just scrolling through the list can be unnerving. And because these drivers are independent contractors, the rideshare companies often shirk liability when these incidents occur.

Insurance Issues

If you are involved in an injury accident while riding with Uber or Lyft…who foots the bill? Technically, Uber carries a $1 million liability insurance policy that is supposed to cover you in that situation, but sometimes loopholes complicate the process (for example, if the driver wasn’t actually logged into the Uber app while driving you). Many drivers carry their own special insurance to protect themselves, but again, there are no guarantees, no minimum standards and no regulation.

The Bottom Line

While these issues seem scary (and they are), the percentages of incidents is still quite low compared to the millions of safe rides given every day. And certainly, statistically speaking, if you’ve been drinking, you’re much safer in an Uber than driving your own car—and so is everyone around you. Just remember that at the end of the day, you’re getting into a car with someone you don’t know, and you’re choosing to trust that person. If you take Uber or Lyft, just do so with your eyes open. If anything makes you uncomfortable, get out at the first opportunity

If you have suffered personal injury in any type of rideshare incident, our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help. Just call our office.

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