Every month there are approximately 127 million people in the U.S. hailing rides using Uber or Lyft services. These services were created to help riders in numerous situations. They help curb drunk driving, they allow people to avoid crowded parking, and they’ve become a convenience many users can no longer imagine getting by without. Safely getting from one point to another doesn’t always equate to using a rideshare service, however.
Uber and Lyft drivers are required to use a phone app to conduct business with riders. The app is used to provide information about the fare, and initiates GPS to take the driver to the pickup and destination points. During the ride, the driver receives constant app notifications of new potential fares to actively accept or lose the fare. The end result is that if you don’t engage with the app, you lose money and may lose your driver status.
Competition breeds danger in the rideshare world
Many drivers looking to maximize their income work for both Uber and Lyft, which requires them to engage with two apps, increasing the danger of distracted driving. If a driver picks up a fare for one service, they have to turn off the app for the competing service. However, many drivers turn that app back on close to the drop-off point to see which company is offering a fare they want to accept next – all while driving.
Companies looking for ways to help minimize driver distraction by creating new apps, like Mystro, are being thwarted by the rideshare companies. Mystro actually turns off the app for the other rideshare company when a driver has picked up a fare so that the driver doesn’t have to fiddle with his or her phone.
For the record, Lyft cut Mystro’s access to their system.
Distracted rideshare drivers are making headlines
Since 2013, a review of more than 150 lawsuits filed against Uber in San Francisco have had a primary allegation of distracted driving. Other data has shown that in San Francisco:
- Between 2018 and August of 2019, 15% of traffic deaths involved rideshare vehicles.
- Over a three year period, more than 50% of traffic tickets were issued to rideshare drivers, including for blocking bike lanes, which can cause severe personal injury.
- Over 1,100 accidents per month have been reported by rideshare services across the state.
In December of 2019, a teenager who hailed a Lyft ride in Philadelphia was assaulted by the driver after she complained to the driver about her accepting a phone call while driving, holding a loud conversation and turning up the stereo system. The driver wound up kicking the teenager out of her vehicle, physically assaulted the girl, and broke her phone.
Despite Uber’s repeated claims that they don’t owe a duty of care to any of its riders or pedestrians to provide a safe ride, or for any resulting injuries, they have knowingly and actively worked to hide reckless driving from the public for years. Don’t let the rideshare companies or their drivers get away with injuring you or a loved one.
Seek the professional legal team of Harris Lowry Manton LLP to fight for the compensation that you deserve if you are injured by Uber or Lyft. Our skilled vehicle accident attorneys want to make rideshare safer for everyone and it starts by holding companies and drivers liable for damage they cause. To schedule your free consultation with one of our Georgia personal injury attorneys, call our Atlanta office at 404-961-7650, our Savannah office at 912-651-9967, or reach out to us through our contact page today to tell us your story.