Californians benefit from the convenient services of ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft. However, the perks also come along with the risk of car accidents that injure or kill ridesharing passengers, pedestrians or occupants of other vehicles.
Drivers for Uber and Lyft cause numerous types of roadside accidents both directly and indirectly.
1. Inexperienced drivers
According to California regulations, rideshare drivers must be at least 21 years old, have an in-state driver’s license and provide a driving record. These requirements lend themselves to ridesharing companies generally hiring drivers with less road experience than taxi drivers have.
With the inexperience comes a decreased ability to drive safely on dangerous road conditions and in bad weather, potentially leading to accidents.
2. Distracted driving
Passengers may distract Uber and Lyft drivers from focusing on the roadways. Since drivers tend to work long hours, they may try to eat their meals behind the wheel. Additionally, they use apps on their smartphones to get directions to the destination and to find passengers. These habits all are dangerous, distracted driving activities.
3. Drowsy driving
Those who work for ridesharing companies try to drive as many hours as they can. Logging lots of hours on the apps includes incentives like bonuses and guaranteed payments. Working long, exhausting hours leads to slowed reaction times and decreased attention on the road.
4. Failure to obey traffic laws
A rideshare driver who does not follow California’s traffic laws, signs and signals can cause an accident. If the driver’s actions cause injuries or death, the individual will face civil or criminal liability.
Overall, inexperienced, distracted, drowsy or reckless ridesharing drivers may cause serious accidents involving their passengers and others.