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Rideshare Drivers Face Inherent Distractions

Posted on in Car Accidents

Rideshare Drivers Face Inherent DistractionsDrivers working for rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft have the added responsibility for the safety of their passengers, to go along with all drivers’ responsibility to each other on the road. Because of the distractions involved with the job, safe driving advocates wonder whether rideshare drivers are more likely to be in car crashes. Unfortunately, there are no official records of the number of accidents involving rideshare drivers. Police crash reports do not categorize rideshare vehicles for statistical purposes. Unlike taxi cabs, rideshare vehicles are not obviously marked as a commercial vehicle. Analysis of how rideshare drivers operate suggests that they face increased distractions related to their work.

Focus on Phones

Whereas taxi drivers typically use radio dispatch for communications, rideshare drivers communicate using their phones. Drivers have their phones mounted to their dashboards, with their ridesharing app open. The app is used for accepting jobs, giving directions and contacting potential passengers. The rideshare companies say that they design their apps to minimize distractions. However, there are several unavoidable distractions involved with using a phone while driving:

  • The app notifies drivers of potential clients, which they often must accept or decline immediately;
  • Using a phone app, even briefly, requires visual and cognitive attention; and
  • Having the phone mounted on the dashboard may naturally divert a driver’s eyes to the screen.

The rideshare business model requires drivers to pay attention to the phone app. Ignoring or responding slowly to alerts means losing money immediately and receiving less client opportunities in the future.

Who Pays Compensation

If you are injured in a rideshare vehicle crash, as a passenger or another driver, you can receive injury compensation if the rideshare driver was at fault. Uber and Lyft provide insurance for their drivers, but the coverage varies depending on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident:

  • Drivers who are transporting a client or are on their way to pick one up are covered by the company’s insurance for damages of as much as $1 million;
  • Drivers who have the phone app on and are waiting for assignments have more limited coverage. The insurance includes $50,000 for personal injuries, $25,000 for property damage and a $100,000 total liability limit. For Lyft drivers, the company insurance is used if the driver’s personal insurance cannot cover the cost; and
  • When drivers are not using the app, their personal insurance is responsible for any liability.

Seeking compensation beyond what the insurance covers may require legal action. A McHenry County personal injury attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will help you obtain proper compensation for your injuries and suffering. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.



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