With more than 2.5 million rideshare drivers on the road today, rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft, have made traveling easy. The convenience of getting a ride at any time, with lower fees, and no cash exchanges, make it an attractive way to travel. Whether going to the airport, or getting a ride home, the expectation is, of course, that you will do so safely.
Consider, however, that Uber and Lyft drivers have a greater risk of being in a car accident than any other driver on the road. In fact, according to a joint study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, ridesharing services have increased traffic deaths by almost 3% in the United States, or approximately 1,000 fatalities a year.
Why this dramatic increase? There are many contributing factors, including driver fatigue and failure to properly maintain the rideshare vehicle, but the number one cause of accidents is distracted driving. The driver may be looking for directions, texting, or searching for the next passenger, much of which contributes to erratic driving, sudden stops, and parking in unsafe, undesignated areas.
Should you ever be in the unfortunate circumstance of being involved in an accident with a rideshare driver, there are a few basic things you should do:
- Call the police – Whether there are injuries or not, the police should be contacted immediately. A police report will identify everyone involved, help to determine liability, and document insurance information.
- Seek medical attention – Even if you don’t believe you are injured, get checked out as soon as possible. Oftentimes, an injury manifests itself days after the accident.
- Document the accident – Take photos of the scene, of the vehicles involved, and of the road conditions.
- Exchange information – Obtain all drivers’ insurance information, license plate numbers, as well as makes and models of all vehicles.
- Report the car accident – Contact the rideshare company and your own insurance company to report what happened.
Knowing what to do in the event of an accident can give you peace of mind. Safe travels!