Uber is a popular rideshare company that millions of people use daily, but does it have a safe track record? There are currently no federal laws regulating this industry, so each state has their own set of rules for companies like Uber and Lyft. In most states, drivers do not need any special licenses or permits to drive with these apps, other than a regular driver’s license. This poses some risks since accidents happen frequently on city roads, even when they’re not crowded.
Texas requirements for Uber drivers:
- Drivers must have a valid drivers license and at least one year experience driving
- Car Insurance
- 4-door vehicle that is 15 years old or newer and in good condition (working seat belts for every seat)
- Eligible vehicles cannot have any commercial branding
- The car must also be registered, but it does not need to necessarily be registered to the driver
- Drivers must also pass an online screening
Each state has its own requirements for Uber drivers. California has stricter requirements than other states because its law requires all drivers to pass an annual background check by fingerprinting applicants who want to drive on the platform. Because there are minimal requirements for drivers and there are no driving tests, riding in an Uber many not be as safe as you think.
Uber accident statistics
Many people take Ubers for the sole purpose of safety. Instead of assigning a designated driver, they will use an Uber instead of drinking and driving. Sounds safe right? Wrong. Since the introduction of ride share apps, there has been a 2-3% increase in U.S. fatal accidents. With 91 million active users each month, Uber drivers have never been busier. Between 2017 and 2018 there were 97 fatal Uber crashes in just a one year period causing 107 deaths. 90% of those accidents were located in big cities like Houston. About 1 in every 3 million Uber rides results in a fatality. After doing the math, it is statistically more dangerous to take an Uber than to fly on an airplane.
What to do if you’re in an accident as an Uber passenger or driver
If you have been in an Uber accident you should first check to see if anyone is injured and contact paramedics if necessary. Then you should notify Uber and report the accident. They will send you an incident report via email for you to fill out and all involved insurance carriers will investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and which insurance coverage applies. Uber and Lyft carry very large insurance policies on their drivers but this does not mean you will receive the maximum compensation after an accident. Like after any accident or injury, insurance adjusters are determined to pay you as little as possible for your medical bills and pain and suffering. That is literally their job. Do not sign or agree to anything they offer you without speaking to an experienced Uber Accident Attorney first.
Tips for staying safe when using the service
If you use Uber as a form of transportation, it’s important to know how to stay safe. Although it is not always possible to prevent car accidents here are some tips on how to generally stay safe when using a ride share service:
- When using this service, always check for the driver’s name, vehicle type and license plate number before entering the vehicle to make sure it matches the vehicle/driver in the app.
- If something feels wrong or scary during your ride, get out of the car when it is safe and let Uber know by tapping “Help” in-app or dialing 911 from your phone.
- For your safety and privacy we recommend that you don’t talk on the phone or do other distracting activities during your ride.
- When possible take an Uber with a buddy instead of on your own.
Call an Uber Accident Attorney today
If you have been injured by an Uber driver, the best thing to do is act quickly. We are available 24/7 so call now! If you or someone else is injured in an accident due to another person’s negligence while driving their personal vehicle or an Uber call The Texas Bulldog today for a free detailed case evaluation. He will discuss the facts of your case with you and tell you which steps to take without any obligation or cost to you whatsoever. You may be entitled to pain and suffering damages or even punitive damages if Uber/another driver is found negligent in any way. Our attorneys are experienced with this type of accident case and can help hold them accountable for their negligence. Call Adam Miller, The Texas Bulldog now at 713-572-3333.