Rideshare companies, such as Lyft and Uber, have taken the country by storm over the past decade. Many people have gotten used to being able to push a button on their phones and get a ride, and many others have enjoyed the chance to work as drivers, making a little extra money on the side without having to go into an office. However, like any service involving cars, collisions can and do happen.
Rideshare drivers get paid by the ride, not by the hour. This means there is a lot of incentive for them to take as many riders as possible in a shift. While that can push drivers to work harder, it can also push them to speed. They may speed to get a passenger to their destination, or speed to pick someone up. In either scenario, the driver is breaking traffic laws and putting numerous lives in danger.
Speeding isn’t just dangerous because it’s against the law: the faster a car goes, the less time a driver has to react to sudden changes in traffic, objects appearing in the road, or crossing pedestrians. On top of that, with more speed comes more force upon impact. This means that a collision with a speeding car is going to be far more devastating than a collision with a slow car. When rideshare drivers speed, they are risking their lives, the lives of their passengers, as well as the lives of everyone around them on the road.
Rideshare companies do not pay their workers a salary. Drivers are paid by the ride, and they don’t get to set the prices — the company does that for them. This means that many rideshare drivers are extremely underpaid. In order to make up the difference in pay, many drivers overwork themselves, clocking in over 8 hours of driving a day. While this can help those drivers get the money they need, it means that they are mentally and physically exhausted by the time they end their day. Fatigued driving is incredibly dangerous, as being overly tired slows a driver’s reaction time, ability to pay attention, and ability to make responsible decisions.
While both Uber and Lyft have set up policies to try and combat fatigued drivers, such as by forcing them to stay offline for 8 hours if they have worked for 12 hours, there are easy ways around this. For example, drivers will often work for multiple rideshare companies, meaning that when one cuts them off, they can simply begin working for the other.
Both Uber and Lyft require that drivers have their cars inspected before being allowed to start taking passengers. Cars owned by drivers are also supposed to be kept well-maintained. However, maintenance is paid for by the driver, not the company, and since many drivers are already working too many hours to try and make enough pay, many elect not to get much-needed repairs, and may not even schedule regular check-ups with their mechanic. This can easily lead to auto part failures, and catastrophic accidents.
Rideshare drivers have to travel all over the city, even the state, in the course of their job. While many know the local streets well, they are required to follow the path set for them by the rideshare app’s GPS. This means that they are constantly checking the GPS to make sure they are going in the right direction, leaving them distracted. On top of that, many drivers feel the need to converse with their passengers, as having a good rating from customers is key to getting more riders in the future. This can lead to a driver not paying attention to the road at all, thus causing a serious accident.
How to Recover from a Rideshare Accident
Both Uber and Lyft offer comprehensive accident coverage for their drivers and passengers, with the policy covering up to one million dollars in damages for some circumstances. However, just because their policy goes high does not mean they are interested in handing over even a fraction of that amount. Remember, these are corporations. Their first priority will always be profits. If they gave every collision victim the highest possible settlement, they would lose a great deal of money, so they will try to lowball you.
Your best bet for recovering as much compensation as possible is to contact a skilled car accident attorney from the Tenge Law Firm, LLC, who can fight for your rights. Our legal team has years of experience getting people the compensation they deserve from unwilling companies. If you want to speak with a top-notch attorney, then call our firm at (303) 665-2929 today. We have offices in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.