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Uber Accident: How Safe Are Passengers/Drivers?

Uber rides on the street — Uber accident lawyer new york

Uber, the popular ridesharing app that makes getting around a breeze, has been a game-changer since its launch in 2009, San Francisco spreading to more than 260 cities in 45 countries. But the big question on everyone’s mind is this: Just how safe is Uber for both drivers and passengers?

In 2018, Uber reported alarming crash statistics, with 4,853 incidents involving drivers and passengers. Serious injury crashes totaled 3,638, leading to 2,061 hospitalizations. Tragically, 801 crashes were fatal, resulting in 573 deaths. Urban areas saw the majority of fatal incidents, emphasizing concerns about the safety of Uber for both drivers and passengers, especially during rush hours.

What Are the Risks for Passengers When Using Uber?

As an Uber passenger, you might face uncertainties about the driver’s qualifications and background checks, leading to potential risks. Additionally, filing claims for injuries or damages could be challenging due to Uber’s denial of liability. Therefore, as a passenger, you can consider these risks:

Lack of Professional Driving Qualifications

When you book an Uber, there’s a chance that your driver hasn’t gone through the same background checks and training that traditional taxi drivers do. This can be risky because you might not know who’s driving you.

Traditional taxi drivers have to meet strict standards. For example, in New York City, taxi drivers must prove they live there, have a clean criminal record, and finish training to drive a taxi. They go through a rigorous process to ensure passenger safety.

On the other hand, Uber drivers often have fewer qualifications. These drivers might not have the same level of scrutiny and training, which can raise safety concerns. So, when you use Uber, you might not get a driver with the same level of background checks and training as a traditional taxi driver. This doesn’t mean all Uber drivers are unsafe, but it’s something to be aware of when choosing your ride.

Faulty Background Checks

Uber says they check their drivers’ records at the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) and look into their federal and multi-state criminal backgrounds. But sometimes, these checks don’t catch everything.

NBC4, a news station, did a three-month investigation of Uber and discovered something concerning. They found drivers with criminal records, like people convicted of burglary, battery, assault, and even drunk and reckless driving. These are not the kind of drivers you’d want, right?

So, it’s a good idea to be extra cautious. Always double-check the driver’s and car’s information before you hop into an Uber. Your safety is important, and taking this extra step can help ensure you’re riding with a trustworthy driver.

No Liability

Uber categorizes its drivers as independent contractors, not official employees. But there’s a consequence to this classification. It helps Uber avoid taking full responsibility in case something goes wrong, like an accident or an incident during your ride.

So, if something bad happens, you, as a passenger, might find yourself in a tough spot. Uber could say, “It’s not our fault; our driver is an independent contractor.” This can limit your options for getting help or compensation.

It’s essential to be aware of this because when you take an Uber, you’re not getting the same level of protection that you might get with a traditional taxi service, where the company and its drivers are usually seen as more connected.

What Are the Risks for Drivers When Using Uber?

Passengers are not the only ones at risk when using Uber; drivers face their own set of potential issues:

Income Uncertainty

Driving for Uber can be quite unpredictable. You see, Uber drivers don’t have a set, guaranteed income. The money you make can go up and down because it depends on how many people want rides, how many other Uber drivers are in your area, and even the time of year. This unpredictability can make it hard to rely on Uber as your main source of income.

Additionally, when you drive for Uber, your own car takes a beating. All those extra miles and wear and tear can lead to increased maintenance costs. Despite Uber’s claim that drivers make around $25 per hour, the reality is different. After factoring in expenses like gas, maintenance, insurance, and hidden fees, drivers often report hourly rates closer to $10 per hour.

Moreover, as Uber doesn’t officially consider you an employee, you won’t get worker’s compensation. If you get hurt while driving, you might have to cover hospital bills and related costs on your own. It’s important to understand these financial risks and plan accordingly if you decide to become an Uber driver.

Insurance Challenges

Your regular car insurance may not have your back when you’re an Uber driver. This is because your regular policy is designed for personal use, not for working as a ride-sharing driver. So, if you’re driving for Uber, and there’s an accident, your usual insurance coverage might not step in to cover the costs.

This means you could end up being responsible for all the expenses, which can be a big financial hit. To avoid this risk, many Uber drivers opt for special insurance designed for ride-sharing. It’s a bit more costly, but it’s a smart move to protect yourself and your finances.

Safety Concerns

As an Uber driver, you should know that safety concerns aren’t just for passengers; you can face them, too. Reports have shown that some Uber drivers have experienced theft, assaults, and harassment. Although Uber has a rating system to help spot problematic riders, it’s not always foolproof.

There can be times when passengers behave badly or even pose a threat to you as a driver, and the rating system might not catch everything. So, you need to be aware of these potential risks. You can take precautions by observing passenger behavior and being cautious when you pick up riders in unfamiliar or isolated areas. Your safety as an Uber driver is crucial, just like it is for passengers.

Is Uber a Safe Choice? A Look at the Risks and Realities

Uber Driver Driving Car Having Argument Female Passenger

Are Uber rides really safe? The recent Uber report shook many with disturbing facts about rider and driver safety. In just two years, nearly 6,000 claims of sexual assault were filed by Uber users – a deeply alarming number.

Surprisingly, the data reveals another side of the story. While the media often highlights cases of drivers assaulting passengers, about 45% of reported cases involved riders as the accused party. This indicates that driving for Uber can be as risky as being a passenger.

In July 2022, Uber faced a lawsuit for 550 sexual assault and attack claims, raising questions about the actual safety of using the app for transportation.

Uber’s 2019-2020 Safety Report claims that 99.9% of all Uber rides are completed without incident. However, the report details 3,824 incidents of severe sexual assault and misconduct in the US., with 20 people killed in assaults.

According to NBC News, in 2020 alone, Uber reported 141 incidents of rape and 998 cases of sexual assault. On a positive note, the report indicates that Uber-related motor vehicle fatalities are rare, with about one in 90 million trips resulting in fatal car crashes.

The report reveals that Uber has a lower death rate (0.62 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled) compared to the entire U.S. (1.22 fatalities for every 100 million vehicle miles traveled). This suggests that using Uber for transportation might be relatively safer than driving yourself, at least in terms of motor vehicle deaths.

So, is Uber a safe choice? While the majority of rides go without incident, the reported cases of sexual assault raise concerns. It’s essential for users to be aware of the risks and realities associated with Uber rides and make informed decisions about their safety.

How to Be Safe in an Uber?

Uber is a convenient way to get around, but passengers and drivers must prioritize safety. Here are some tips for a secure Uber experience:

For Passengers

  1. Verify Your Ride: Before getting into the car, confirm that the driver’s photo and name in the app match the actual driver. Also, verify the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
  2. Share Your Trip: Use Uber’s “Share My Trip” feature to let a trusted friend or family member know your trip details, including your route and expected arrival time.
  3. Follow Your Route: Stay aware of your map’s route; if the driver deviates from it without explanation, consider it a red flag.
  4. Feedback and Report: If you encounter an issue or feel unsafe during your Uber ride, use the in-app “Help” or “Safety Center” feature to report your concerns to Uber.

For Drivers

  1. Verify Your Passengers: Confirm that the passenger matches the information in the Uber app, such as their name and photo, before beginning the trip. This helps ensure you’re picking up the right rider.
  2. Follow Traffic Rules: Always adhere to traffic laws and drive safely. Your passengers’ safety relies on your responsible driving.
  3. Report Issues: If you encounter any problems or feel unsafe during a trip, report them promptly to Uber through the app’s reporting feature.
  4. Maintain Vehicle Safety: Regularly check your vehicle’s maintenance and ensure it’s in good working condition to minimize the risk of breakdowns or accidents.
  5. Respect Passengers’ Privacy: Avoid engaging in overly personal conversations with passengers. Maintain a professional and courteous demeanor.

Seek Justice – Contact Uptown Injury Uber Accident Lawyers Today

Have you experienced an accident while using the Uber ride-sharing app as a passenger or driver? We understand the challenges and trauma you may be facing. At Uptown Injury Law, our dedicated attorneys are here to help. We are committed to holding ridesharing companies accountable for their actions and ensuring you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve.

Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, an assault, or any other incident related to ride-sharing, we have the knowledge and resources to secure the best possible outcome for your case.

Our Promise to You

  • No Fee Unless You Win: At Uptown Injury Law, PLLC, we operate on a no-win, no-fee basis. We don’t charge you unless we successfully win your case.
  • Compassionate Support: We not only fight for your rights but also provide compassionate support throughout your legal journey. We understand the emotional challenges these situations bring, and we’re here for you every step of the way.
  • Extensive Experience: With over 15 years of experience, our team of personal injury attorneys brings a wealth of knowledge and proficiency to tackle your case. We’ve successfully represented accident victims in various scenarios, giving you confidence in our ability to handle your unique situation.
  • Thorough Investigation: We leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of justice. Our commitment to thorough investigation ensures that every detail of your case is examined, giving us a comprehensive understanding to build a strong case on your behalf.
  • Local Expertise: As advocates for accident victims in the Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, and the New York City Metro Area, we have a deep understanding of the local legal landscape. We leverage this knowledge to navigate the complexities of your case effectively.

To take the first step towards justice, schedule a free consultation with us. You can contact us online or call our toll-free office number at 917-540-8728.

FAQs

Is It More Dangerous to Be an Uber Driver or Passenger?

Being an Uber driver means you’re “behind the wheel,” which can expose you to more risks compared to being a passenger in the “back seat.” Drivers face potential challenges like road safety and unruly passengers, while passengers typically have fewer safety concerns. However, drivers and passengers must stay vigilant and prioritize their safety while using the service.

What are the Dangers of Uber Drivers?

As an Uber driver, it’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers, including theft, accidents, physical assault, and sexual assault. Working alone and during nighttime hours can increase these risks. To mitigate these dangers, you should always prioritize safety features and stay safe while on the job.

Is It Dangerous to Ride in an Uber Alone?

Riding in an Uber alone can be safe, but it’s essential to be cautious. Uber hires drivers after a background check, but incidents can still happen. To enhance safety, share your trip details and stay alert while riding alone.

Is Uber Safe for Riders?

Uber can be safe for riders, but it’s essential to take precautions. Verify your driver and share your trip with someone you trust. Don’t sit in the front seat, wear your seatbelt, and stay aware during the ride, including any unexpected or wrong turn, to enhance your safety.

Is Uber Safe for Drivers?

While driving for Uber can provide opportunities, it also comes with safety considerations. Drivers may face challenges such as theft and physical or sexual assaults. It’s important to stay cautious and prioritize safety measures for your well-being.

Is Uber Safe for Women? 

While statistically safer than taxis and public transportation, 23% of women reported uncomfortable incidents with Uber drivers and 15% with Lyft, as per a 2020 Alarms.org report. Stay vigilant and report any discomfort to ensure a safer rideshare experience.

Is Uber Safe in New York City?

While Uber is a popular transportation option in New York City, as with any ride-sharing service, potential risks exist. Ensuring safety during rides is crucial, both passengers and drivers should remain aware of their surroundings to minimize potential dangers.

What Are the Lawsuits Against Uber?

The lawsuits against Uber primarily revolve around allegations of negligence in handling cases of accidents. Victims have taken legal action against the company for failing to address their concerns adequately.

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Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers
WRITTEN AND REVIEWED BY
Kyle Newman Founder and Senior Trial Lawyer at Uptown Injury Law New York's Best Personal Injury Medical Malpractice and Accident Law firm New York's Top Trial Lawyers

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