Safety Tips From Rideshare Car Accident Attorneys in Los Angeles
Uber is one of the most popular California rideshare apps among commuters. It was first introduced in 2009 and has quickly become a national sensation, with its promise of convenience, safety, and affordability.
While there is much contention surrounding Uber’s affordability nowadays, it has nevertheless garnered enough brand recognition to stay on top of the ridesharing game. It has prided itself on bringing down traffic fatalities, especially those involving drunk driving.
Perhaps they are right in patting themselves on the back for this one, but a study done by the University of Chicago proclaims that contrary to popular belief, ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft are actually responsible for the increase in traffic fatalities starting 2010.
Since the 1980s, vehicular accidents have been at a steady decline. But the researchers in University of Chicago claim that the trend shifted upwards the year Uber became widely-used. Together with ride-sharing app Lyft, they claim that they account for nearly 3% of fatality increases per year.
They suspect that this is because rideshare apps incentivize their drivers to stay as long as they can on the road to accommodate all potential riders who need to get to their destination as quickly as possible.
The proliferation of vehicles on the road subsequently increases the likelihood of car accidents as it adds to traffic congestion, and drivers and riders may need the services of an Uber accident lawyer in Los Angeles when this happens.
But while there is no denying that rideshare accidents occur, the rideshare company questions the validity of their research methodology, citing instead an independent study that backs up Uber’s claims regarding its positive impact on reducing drunk driving.
The study stipulates that Uber reduced DUI crashes as made evident in their presence in Houston, reducing collision traumas by 23.8% on Friday and Saturday nights.
Additionally, Uber has also made a commitment to produce safety reports every year. They haven’t reported on the years 2021 and 2022 just yet, claiming that their data collection has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But according to their latest report, 99.9% of Uber trips ended with no accidents whatsoever, solidifying the claims that Uber is, in fact, instrumental to overall traffic safety.
It remains to be seen whether this trend will continue following the rise of traffic fatalities in Los Angeles, especially as the data for 2021-2022 is currently not available.
The LAist reports that despite the absence of cars on the road, 2020 nevertheless was heralded as “one of the deadliest years on U.S. roads in more than a decade.”
To make matters worse, severe and fatal DUI and hit-and-run crashes have increased across the board the succeeding year.
1. Don’t Wait On The Edge Of The Sidewalk
With the increasing number of traffic fatalities on the road, waiting on the edge of the sidewalk will put you at risk of catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury — or maybe even wrongful death.
When waiting on an Uber or a Lyft, it’s best practice to stay as far away from the road as possible. Make sure that you’re not standing on the edge of the sidewalk. That way, there’s less chances of you getting sideswiped and/or getting hurt.
2. Wait On Well-Lit Areas
Not only are instances of drunk driving more frequent in the evenings, significant decrease in visibility is also an issue for a lot of people behind the wheel. This is further exacerbated by the fact that exhaustion takes over around this time, putting you at even more risk of injury and death.
If you wait for your rideshare drivers in well-lit areas, however, you may reduce your chances of getting harmed by reckless drivers. However, there are certain areas in the city where light is just not present. To combat this issue, there are tangible things that you can do. You can wear bright colors or turn your flashlights on.
3. Don’t be distracted
Distracted walking is an issue that could harm a pedestrian’s safety as they wait for their Uber or Lyft driver. You need to be constantly aware of your surroundings or you run into the risk of prematurely crossing the street.
When looking for your Uber driver, make sure that you minimize phone usage so that you can focus on keeping yourself safe. Memorize the plate number along with the make and model of the car. You need to also make sure that you are not listening to music. That way, you are conscious of any auditory signals and signs of danger.
4. Don’t distract your driver
Various forms of distracted driving (such as visual, manual, and cognitive distractions) could potentially expose you to the likelihood of injury and death. So when you are inside the car of your Uber or Lyft driver, make sure you do your due diligence and not distract them.
If you have to use your phone, make sure that your volume is at low volume so that the driver can focus on the road instead of listening to the grating sound of the video you’re playing. Make sure that you also keep phone conversations short if you can help it.
5. Tell them to drive safely
The University of Chicago Booth study cited that the reason Uber and Lyft drivers contribute to the increase in traffic fatalities is because they are incentivized to drive speedily and recklessly to maximize their earning potential. But customer satisfaction also plays into their earning potential.
When you ride an Uber or Lyft, encourage them to drive safely. This will in turn encourage them to not speed and engage in other forms of reckless driving, especially if failing to follow your request could negatively impact their tips and ratings.
Call Omega Law Group
But whether Uber’s rideshare service stays true to their promise of safety, being on the road still poses a risk of an accident. We have represented clients who have been afflicted by various personal injuries, including Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Soft Tissue Injury, and many more. Our awards and excellent testimonials are a result of our ability to empathize and attend to the needs of our clients.
Here at Omega Law Group, you will come first. If you or a loved one is afflicted with an accident, reach out to our team. Visit our Contact Us page or call us at (310) 504-1852.