Seven Ways a Rideshare (Uber) Driver Can Encounter an Accident

by Samuel Fishman on Feb. 24, 2021

Accident & Injury 

Summary: When you use a rideshare service like Uber, you should expect drivers to mind the laws and rules governing safe driving. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Statistics show an increase in rideshare accidents. There is a real chance that you may be involved in a car accident the next time you book an Uber or competing rideshare service.

When you use a rideshare service like Uber, you should expect drivers to mind the laws and rules governing safe driving. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Statistics show an increase in rideshare accidents.  There is a real chance that you may be involved in a car accident the next time you book an Uber or competing rideshare service. There are several common ways for a rideshare driver to become involved in a car accident:


When the Driver is  Driving Distracted


A rideshare driver should be focused on passenger safety and not be distracted while driving.  According to numerous reports on rideshare services, distracted driving is an increasingly common cause of accidents. One reason for why a rideshare driver may become distracted while driving is that they often type driving directions into a GPS application and then regularly refer to it to get riders to their chosen destination.  Typing and reviewing directions forces the driver to take focus away from the road. Even a brief distraction can be dangerous, as it only takes a moment for an accident to occur.


When the Driver Scans for Passengers


Attempting to locate passengers is one of the more common causes of rideshare accidents. It is necessary for rideshare drivers to scan their location for passengers who have ordered the service but every moment a driver is not paying attention to the road, there’s an increased chance of being involved in an accident.  Rideshare drivers are not always familiar with the areas from which they pick up passengers.  They tend to look around for passengers who have chosen their services and scan sidewalks and other common waiting areas closely to find the correct street address and customers. As a result, there can be unexpected stops, quick turns, and other unsafe driving maneuvers that create hazards to other drivers or pedestrians.


When the Driver is Unwell 


Rideshare drivers may choose to drive for long hours to increase to earn more money.  Some rideshare services limit the number of hours a driver can work at a time on their application, but a driver can get around this by driving for several different services under different accounts.  Moreover, driving is a second occupation or “side job” for many rideshare drivers. For example, an Uber driver can drive for long hours after logging in a full eight hour work day in some other full time occupation.  Working for long hours contributes to fatigue.  As a result, the driver may not be in the most alert mental state, posing dangers to others on the road. Substance abuse and other types of illness could exacerbate fatigue, creating even more dangerous driving conditions.  Rideshare users simply do not know how well their driver is when they elect these services. 


Parking in Unsecured Parking Lots


As the use of rideshare services increases, so too do the number of pick-ups and drop-offs.  Many drivers are not familiar with the areas in which they operate. Lack of awareness in some locations can be dangerous as poorly lit, unsecured areas, such as parking lots and garages, can be the scenes of dangerous criminal activity.  As a result, drivers may park, pick-up, or drop-off in areas that place themselves and riders in danger.


Poor Vehicle Maintenance


A driver who markets their services commercially to the public has a responsibility to maintain a safely operating vehicle that is fit for the road. Otherwise, the driver might bear fault if anything happens that could have been avoided with proper vehicle maintenance. Vehicle malfunctions are one of the more dangerous causes of roadside accidents.  When an Uber or other rideshare driver fails to properly maintain a vehicle, they may not discover issues that create serious hazards in time to prevent them.  Types of dangerous conditions that can be resolved with regular maintenance and servicing include tire blowouts, faulty brakes, inoperable headlights or windshield wipers, and more.


Driving under the Influence of Alcohol


One of the more common reasons passengers elect to use a rideshare service is to avoid drinking and driving but what happens when the rideshare driver is under the influence? Riders might not know when a rideshare driver is under the influence of alcohol or other substances.  If drivers pick-up passengers while intoxicated, there is a good chance that rides will result in car accidents. Driving under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or other mind altering drugs is illegal, unsafe, and unfair to passengers who have entrusted the service with safely delivering them to their destinations.


Driving Recklessly


Reckless driving is intentionally operating a vehicle with willful disregard for other drivers and pedestrians who share the road.  When a driver operates a vehicle recklessly, there is a higher chance for a motor vehicle accident. Common types of reckless driving are speeding, failure to signal while turning, running stop signs or traffic lights, or tailgating.


If you or someone you know has been involved in a rideshare-related accident, whether you are the passenger, the driver, or even an innocent third party, you can consult a highly respected and experienced philadelphia personal injury lawyer. An attorney will evaluate your case, assist with filing a strong claim that is supported by sufficient, relevant evidence, and get you fair compensation for your losses, injuries, and other damages.

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