It sounds like a great idea. Use your smartphone, wherever you may be, and get a ride to wherever you want to go. But many individuals have concluded that “all that glitters is not gold.” What started as a fresh idea for getting a ride when you need it, has now gone sour for many. The “ease factor” is excellent. The downsides can be downright dangerous.
1. Be Extra-Safe when you Drive
In Seattle, 90,000 Uber or Lyft rides a day take place, which is more than the number of people that are transported by Seattle’s light rail system. At the University of California Los Angeles, 11,000 Uber or Lyft trips occur within the boundaries of the university’s boundaries. Walking seems no longer in fashion.
Of the cities with the highest Uber, Lyft, and rideshare users, driving has risen approximately 3 percent compared to cities that have a lower rate of Uber and Lyft usage. The overall effect is that more vehicles are on the roads that have too many vehicles already. Over-crowded streets set the perfect scene for accidents. This fact means when you are driving your personally-owned car, you must remain aware, cautious, and sensible.
2. Be Cognizant that Uber and Lyft Drivers may be Stressed or Anxious
Edward Escobar, a Denver Lyft and Uber driver, is the founder of the Alliance for Independent Workers. Escobar noted, in an interview this year, that:
The ride-hailing companies “are squeezing drivers into poverty, despair, suicide,” Escobar said, pointing to a reported suicide by a Lyft driver in New York City last week, the ninth known suicide of a taxi or ride-hailing driver there since 2017.
Drivers are disturbed by the manner and amount they receive as payment. Escobar says he is making 80 percent less than he made last year.
Stressed drivers can make for bad drivers. If the driver of a vehicle is distracted or having anxiety-based difficulties, it is best to exit the car quickly.
3. Know that Not all Uber and Lyft Drivers are Who they Say they Are
In 2019, Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old South Carolina student, was kidnapped and killed by a man impersonating an Uber driver. In the past, there have been up to two dozen such attacks. This type of crime includes driver suspects who have attacked multiple women. In Connecticut, Chicago, South Carolina, and other cities, these rare, but nightmarish crimes have occurred. From this particularly heinous crime comes a measure of hope. South Carolina has proposed a law that would require all Uber, rideshare, or Lyft drivers to display a lighted sign from their company.
The University of South Carolina started a new safety campaign that urges riders to ask the driver, “What is my name?” The valid driver will know his party’s name due to his or her electronic mail sent to hail the driver.
4. Bring Your Car Seat
If an infant or toddler is riding with you, you must ensure the young one has a proper car seat for his or her age. It is not the driver’s responsibility to have this equipment. Along with that, Lyft and Uber require that a parent accompanies children under the age of 18. Drivers can get in trouble for allowing children to ride with no accompaniment. Parents need to be vigilant and never let a child call a Lyft or an Uber on his or her own.
Uber, Lyft, and Rideshare Safety
Here at Freeman and Freeman, we are delighted when accidents do not take place and our community remains safe. But call us if you need help with any issues that may arise due to the negligence of Uber, Lyft, or other rideshare business. Contact us at our Los Angeles offices today.