Technology has given us countless ways to make our daily lives a little easier. We have devices in our homes that can turn on lights, order groceries and play music we love. Our phones can do just about anything and connect us with just about anyone. We can stream virtually any TV show or movie we want with the click of a button. We can also use apps to request, identify and pay for a ride from rideshare company.
However, just because something is fast and easy doesn’t mean it is safe. For instance, in the context of rideshares, companies have various requirements that help them identify safe drivers, but accidents still happen. So, how safe are the drivers they hire?
What the numbers say
Statistics on rideshare accidents are not easy to come by. However, according to this report, in 2017 and 2018, Uber vehicles were involved in 97 fatal crashes causes 107 fatalities. This is about half the national average, though the numbers only reflect time an Uber driver is en route to pick up a passenger or driving that passenger. The reporting system used by Uber also did not make any mention of non-fatal crashes.
Some researchers argue that ridesharing is associated with a 3 percent increase in fatal crashes in areas where companies like Uber and Lyft operate.
Who are the drivers?
Safe driving requires a safe driver, and ridesharing companies have rules and requirements for the people they hire. Typically, the requirements include:
- Having a valid driver’s license
- Being of legal age to drive (though Lyft requires drivers in Miami to be at least 25)
- Having proof of insurance
- Passing a driver screening that reviews the person’s criminal background and driving history
These measures can weed out some of the more obviously dangerous drivers. However, they may not be as rigorous as some would like. For instance, not all companies require a certain amount of driving experience. There can also be drivers who are unsafe but simply haven’t gotten a ticket or been in an accident yet.
Ridesharing may be relatively safe, and it is undoubtedly safer than getting behind the wheel if you are drunk, distracted or otherwise unfit to drive. However, accidents can still happen, and when they do, it can be essential to determine who is liable for damages you suffer.