Although all drivers are at risk for motor vehicle accidents, drivers for ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft seem to be disproportionately prone to accidents, even as they face other challenges.
For starters, working shifts for Uber and Lyft drivers can be excessively long, sometimes lasting all day and going late into the night. Add to that the constant stress of rush hour deadlines, customer satisfaction, and navigating Boston traffic from customer to customer, and you have the perfect recipe for distraction.
Are Uber and Lyft Bad for the Driver?
When an Uber or Lyft driver has an accident, safety isn’t the only concern. Their source of income is also on the line. When a ride-sharing driver is no longer able to work due to on-the-job injuries, lost wages and an onslaught of medical bills can financially destroy the driver.
Ride-sharing drivers often live under the pretense that Uber or Lyft will protect them if an accident prevents them from working. But, this is simply not true. They are independent contractors, not employees.
With the rise of ride-share apps, there has been a rise in accidents. A Boston personal injury attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been involved in an Uber or Lyft auto accident.
Are Uber and Lyft Bad for the Passenger?
Uber and Lyft drivers need to submit a background check before transporting their first customer. If the background check reveals a criminal history or bad driving record, they won’t be approved to drive for the company. But this doesn’t automatically mean that Uber and Lyft contractors are good drivers, or even good people. From fatal collisions to assault and rape, Uber and Lyft drivers have been linked to multiple acts of negligence and criminal behaviors. A MA auto accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in an Uber or Lyft accident.
Common Causes of Uber and Lyft Accidents
As with any motor vehicle accident, Uber and Lyft accidents can occur at any time, and for any reason. But the most common causes of these accidents include:
- Lack of sleep: Uber and Lyft drivers often work excessively-long shifts, seven days a week. Such long hours can cause fatigue, which may result in a lack of the concentration needed to operate a vehicle. On a positive note, however, Uber has recently added a rule that drivers cannot put in more than 12 hours in any 24-hour period. The ride-share company is also sending alerts to drivers to take breaks and rest. Even so, a 12-hour work day can result in a fatigued driver.
- Poor vehicle maintenance: If the vehicle has maintenance issues that could cause an accident, and the driver knows it, he or she could be held liable for any resulting injuries or damages. Maintenance issues may include improperly inflated or bald tires, a cracked windshield, faulty brakes, and worn out brake pads.
- Negligent drivers: Careless or distracted drivers also cause Uber and Lyft Poor driving behaviors, such as speeding and aggressive driving, have been linked to multiple Uber and Lyft accidents.
- Drivers who are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs: Although not as common, there have been reports of Uber and Lyft drivers who have transported customers while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.