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.
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.
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
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.