Ridesharing has become immensely popular in recent years. It’s a popular way for those in large cities to get from place to place without the need to own a car or pay for gas. Uber and Lyft are, respectively, the largest ridesharing companies in the nation. They operate similarly to taxi services, except you can call a ride through the Uber app on your smartphone. Unlike taxis, however, Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare drivers are private drivers that use their own vehicles. This leads many to wonder: Is Uber Safe?
Taxi services obviously don’t like ride-hailing services because of the dent they’ve put in the revenue of taxi services. However, taxi drivers also note the lack of regulations, licensing, training, and insurance coverage that Uber, Lyft, and other companies have. Safety is one of the most important questions regarding Uber and Lyft, yet nobody seems to have an answer. That’s why the rideshare accident attorneys at Lipton Law are here for you. If you suffered injuries due to driving violations, impaired driving, sexual assault, or a car accident, call our firm today.
At Lipton Law, our first priority is fighting for just compensation on behalf of our clients. When you suffer damages due to the actions of others, you deserve to be made whole. We can help that happen. To schedule your free consultation with an experienced Michigan personal injury attorney, call us at 248-557-1688 today.
Do You Need a Michigan Rideshare Accident Attorney?
While many Lyft and Uber drivers take their jobs very seriously, others ignore the safety precautions they are expected to take. If you were seriously injured or sexually assaulted by a driver, you deserve compensation. Below, we outline the potential compensation you could receive from a rideshare accident.
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Property damage costs
- Other accident-associated costs
Lipton Law stands ready to help you hold all responsible parties accountable for your injuries.
What Is Rideshare?
According to GCF Global, ridesharing is “a service that arranges one-way transportation on short notice.” Passengers travel in a private vehicle driven by the private owner of the vehicle. Generally, these are paid services arranged through the use of the Lyft or Uber app.
What Is Uber?
Uber and Lyft are the two most popular ride-hailing services in the United States. Between the two, Uber holds a significantly higher percentage of the revenue share. Uber consistently brings in around 70% of rideshare spending, while Lyft takes the remainder. These numbers fluctuate with time but remain fairly consistent.
But what exactly is Uber? Founded in 2009, Uber is, at its heart, a transportation company. It allows riders to use their ride-hailing app to call an on-demand ride from one location to another. Drivers accept ride requests from riders nearby and charge fares based on location, time, and many other factors. The drivers essentially operate as independent contractors for the company.
How Does Uber Work?
The app works differently for Uber drivers and riders. Below, we outline the steps that riders must take in order to hail a ride using Uber’s app.
- Open the app. Once open, the rider must type in their destination. Then, they review pricing and vehicle types before choosing an option. They must then confirm the pickup time.
- Match with a driver. Drivers nearby will see the ride request and choose whether or not to accept it. Once the driver heads toward the rider, the rider receives a notification. Then, they receive another notification when the driver is approximately one minute away.
- The ride begins. Both driver and rider are expected to verify that they have the right vehicle or person. Once verified, the rider gets in the vehicle, and the driver begins the trip.
- The rider reaches the destination. Using a built-in GPS system, the app directs the driver on how to reach the destination. Once it is reached, the rider gets out of the vehicle.
How Long Does Uber Background Check Take?
As we mentioned before, one of the main safety concerns surrounding Uber is the lack of the same level of safety precautions compared to taxis. An Uber driver applicant’s background check generally takes anywhere from three to five days.
How Safe Is an Uber Ride?
After a 2019 safety report from Uber was released documenting their main safety issues, people began to wonder about the safety of the company. As a response, the company highlighted the following safety features they have implemented.
- Multi-step safety screen
- In-app emergency button
- Built-in safety features
- Improved background checks
- The trusted contacts feature allows users to send their trip details to others.
- Driver profile with the driver’s photo, rating, and other information
- Speed limit alerts
- In-app emergency services
- Other new safety features
Overall, trips are safe for most riders. However, the same can be said for trips in other forms of private and public transportation. Yet, accidents and assaults still happen. Therefore, Uber isn’t a completely safe mode of transportation. Those injured by sexual assaults or car accidents deserve compensation.
What Are the Dangers of Uber?
In the first safety report ever released by the company, many people were shocked at the number of sexual assault and accident cases. We outline the most alarming statistics below.
- Nearly 6000 instances of sexual assault. This includes both drivers assaulting riders and vice versa.
- 464 accounts of rape, which is defined as non-consensual sexual penetration or forcing another person to commit sex acts.
- Fatal accidents happened at a rate of 0.57 per million vehicle miles traveled.
- 97 fatal car accident cases with 107 total deaths.
Is Uber Safe to Take Alone at Night?
Generally, it is less safe to travel anywhere at night than during the daytime. This is due to a variety of reasons, including reduced visibility, fatigue, and having fewer people around to help. However, there are a few steps you can take if you feel uncomfortable traveling at night.
- Use GPS tracking.
- Share your location with friends and family.
- Use the in-app Ridecheck feature.
- Call for emergency assistance if you feel unsafe.
- Leave feedback on the driver’s profile in order to help others stay safe.
- When leaving feedback, you can describe the Uber driver’s behavior.
- Call the police if you are in danger or if an accident occurs.
Is Uber Safe for Females?
Unfortunately, female drivers and female passengers are at a higher risk of physical and sexual assault compared to male drivers and riders. In fact, hundreds of female drivers and women riders have filed lawsuits against Uber as a company.
Can You Request a Female Uber Driver?
No. You cannot request male or female drivers based on gender. Even if your reasoning is based on staying safe, it is considered discriminatory to choose only female drivers over male drivers.
It is also not possible to search for drivers or riders by name. This prevents people from requesting rides with a sinister ulterior motive. However, once a rider requests a ride, they can view their driver’s profile. If they dislike what they see on the profile, they can opt for another driver with higher ratings or positive reviews.
Uber Sexual Assault Lawsuits
A large portion of the concerns surrounding Uber drivers and riders concern women’s safety and assault. Between 2017 and 2018, Uber gathered data showing nearly 6000 reports of sexual assault. The assaults happened to both women drivers and passengers. Many of those nearly 6000 victims are planning to file or have filed a lawsuit against Uber. These lawsuits claim that the company has failed to protect women drivers and riders from assault. This is despite the large pattern of incident reports.
Uber and Lyft have a responsibility to protect both the Uber driver and the passenger. When their negligence results in assaults or harm against passengers, they could be held liable.
How to Be Safe in an Uber
If riding in an Uber is a convenient way to get around for you, there are ways to make your rideshare experience safer. It’s understandable that riding in the vehicle of a complete stranger can make you feel uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few safety tips available to improve your experience.
- Stay inside when you request a ride. This minimizes the time you’ll spend outside by yourself.
- Ensure that you have the right car when getting in. Match the license plate number with the one listed in the app. Also, match the car model and driver photo.
- Ask the driver to confirm your name before you get in. Exchanging names is a great way to ensure that both driver and passenger are dealing with the right person.
- Sit in the back seat instead of the front seat. This is especially important if you’re taking an Uber alone. In fact, Uber actively encourages passengers to ride in the back for the safety of all involved.
- Always wear a seat belt.
- Share your location with a friend or family member. If you share your trip status with a loved one, this can help them track your location in real time.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in an Uber Accident?
As with regular auto accidents, it’s important to take certain steps immediately after the accident occurs. Below, we outline the most important steps for you to take.
- Ensure your safety and the safety of the Uber or Lyft driver. Do this by moving the vehicle away from traffic. Check all parties for injuries.
- Get the police involved. Even if the state you’re in doesn’t require you to call the police after a minor accident, it’s always helpful to do so anyway. If anyone suffered injuries, call an ambulance as well. Insist on filing a police report and getting a copy of it.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you don’t feel injured, your symptoms might be delayed. This is frequently the case with a concussion, post-concussion syndrome, or other traumatic brain injury.
- Gather evidence from the scene. Take pictures and videos of all the damage, including to people and vehicles. Note the names and contact information of witnesses.
- Call an Uber accident lawyer. Call Lipton Law as soon as you’re able to explore your options. We will provide you with all the necessary legal information you need for your case.
Contact an Uber Accident Lawyer Today
At Lipton Law, we fight to keep riders safe. We do this by pursuing claims against negligent drivers whose actions cause injury to our clients. Taking an Uber is a weekly occurrence for many people. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad Uber ride or uncomfortable encounter for someone to get hurt. When that happens, the Southfield personal injury lawyers at Lipton Law are here to represent victims and their families. To schedule a free consultation with us, please call 248-557-1688 today.