Uber and Lyft Contribute to Growing Accident Numbers
December 18, 2020
According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, popular rideshare services like Uber and Lyft are directly linked to growing rates of annual traffic deaths and injuries. Overall, ridesharing services have caused as many as 1,100 additional crash fatalities each year. Data shows that higher levels of traffic congestion and reduced access to public transportation both play a large role in the concerning uptake in dangerous and deadly collisions.
The Dangers of Deadheading and More Rideshare-Related Hazards
Another contributing factor to the higher number of accidents and to increased traffic congestion is a practice that is common among Uber and Lyft drivers called “deadheading.” Deadheading simply refers to when a driver is driving around without a passenger in their vehicle. Some studies estimate that Uber and Lyft operators spend somewhere from 30% to 60% of their total time on the road deadheading, or driving around waiting to pick up a passenger. Rideshare companies also often encourage drivers to circle around the same geographic area repeatedly in order to reduce wait times for potential fares.
Although convenience is one of the biggest draws towards rideshare services, they have also professed to be a potential source for reducing drunk and impaired driving injuries and deaths. Interestingly, the study conducted by the University of Chicago and Rice University researchers showed this correlation to be unclear. Another major issue for passengers is feeling uncomfortable or unsafe with drivers. In a recent survey, nearly one-quarter of women polled said they had been in an uncomfortable situation with a rideshare driver. Almost 10% of women said the situation was serious enough that they had to get the police involved and file a complaint.
There are approximately 1.5 to 2 million Uber and Lyft drivers in the United States. Although there are millions of drivers, about 70% of total ridesharing trips happen in just nine different cities across the country: Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. Rates of public transit services in these cities have dropped markedly since the influx of ridesharing services in 2010 and 2011. With fewer people taking the bus, the subway or the train, roadway traffic congestion has increased in already highly populated, primarily urban areas. Unfortunately with this increase in roadway congestion comes a higher number of injury-causing and deadly accidents as well.
Some of the most common injuries associated with rideshare auto accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), concussions, and other serious head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, which can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis
- Fractures and broken bones. In some cases, fractures and broken bones heal on their own over time. In others, they require surgical repair
- Internal bleeding and soft tissue injuries
If you were in an Uber or Lyft accident, be sure to seek medical attention even if you do not feel like you were injured right away. Documentation is critical in accidents with rideshare services, and it can take hours – sometimes even days – to recognize the severity of an injury.
If You Were Injured in an Uber or Lyft Accident
Currently, both Uber and Lyft have insurance policies providing up to $1 million in coverage to drivers and passengers who are victims in ridesharing accidents depending on which party is found liable. This means that passengers who are injured as a result of their rideshare driver’s negligence or the unsafe actions of another driver on the road are able to pursue compensations from the company. If you are a driver of a vehicle and an Uber or Lyft driver struck you, you may also seek compensation for your damages. In some cases, drivers that were in an accident while they were logged onto the ridesharing application but who were not actively picking up or driving a passenger will use a combination of their own insurance and the ridesharing company’s policy. Determining liability and coverage is a complicated legal process, which is why it can help to have an experienced and dedicated auto accident attorney on your side. If you would like to learn more about filing a personal injury claim after an accident, contact a representative at our firm online now.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Representing Car Accident Victims Since 1947
With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, Galfand Berger LLP serves clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.