Ridesharing apps like Lyft and Uber have become incredibly popular over the last several years. Currently, around 36% of Americans use ridesharing apps, which is double the amount it was back in 2015.
However, while ridesharing does decrease the number of individual drivers on the road, it increases the number of rideshare drivers, which means there are bound to be more and more rideshare accidents as individuals increasingly use these apps. And ridesharing is especially popular in California.
San Francisco is the birthplace of ridesharing, and as of 2020, there are over 200,000 rideshare drivers reported each quarter in California—that’s over 800,000 drivers annually. Unfortunately, this means California tends to see the most rideshare accidents of any state.
While a rideshare accident can affect anyone involved, it can be especially problematic for the rideshare drivers themselves. Rideshare driving is essentially like a gig, and gig work often doesn’t provide the worker with much protection if something goes wrong. For this reason, it’s crucial that rideshare drivers take extra precautions to avoid accidents.
Below we’ll list the most common causes of rideshare accidents. It’s important for rideshare drivers to avoid these situations if possible. But if a rideshare accident does still occur, you can get the help you need by contacting an experienced California rideshare attorney.
1. Navigation Errors
Rideshare drivers often have to drive to areas they are unfamiliar with, relying on their phones or GPS devices for navigation. Unfortunately, even with directions, it’s easy to make a navigational mistake, like a wrong turn or missing an exit. When this happens, rideshare drivers can become flustered and make further mistakes that can lead to an accident. This is why it’s important in these situations to remain calm. Mistakes happen, and getting flustered or frustrated will only make things worse.
2. Distraction While Scanning for Passengers
In addition to being unfamiliar with an area, rideshare drivers can also become flustered or distracted when they are looking for their passengers. Spotting the person you are supposed to be picking up can be difficult, especially if it is at night or in a crowded area. Unfortunately, looking around for your passenger and not paying attention to where you are going can lead to an accident. In these situations, it can be helpful to pull over somewhere safe until you can get a more accurate description of where your passenger is waiting.
3. Pulling Over in Unsafe Areas
Understandably, as a rideshare driver, you want to pick your passenger up and drop them off as quickly and easily as possible to provide them with the best service, but many drivers do this by pulling over in undesignated parking or stopping areas. While this might make the ride more convenient for the passenger, it can lead to an accident. And it can even put the passenger’s life at risk. So no matter the situation, you should only pull over once it is safe to do so and in a designated area for stopping.
Many rideshare drivers take on these gigs to make extra money. This means they are often driving after already working another job, and they are overworking and exhausting themselves. And even if the rideshare gig is their only work, they still often work long hours driving around, which can also lead to driving fatigue. But driving while exhausted and fatigued can easily lead to an accident, especially for those drivers that work overnight shifts.
5. Talking to Passengers
Another common cause of accidents for rideshare drivers is being distracted while talking to their passengers. Some drivers and passengers prefer a quiet ride, while others are chatty and social. Unfortunately, even though being friendly might get you a higher rating, it can also cause you to take your mind off the road, which can lead to an accident. This can be even more common when drivers are in areas they are unfamiliar with. Always prioritize paying attention to your driving over entertaining your passengers.
We Handle Your Accident Claim So You Can Focus On Your Life
If you are involved in a rideshare accident, it’s important that you work with a rideshare accident attorney. Rideshare accident cases can be tricky, and recovering compensation, especially for the driver, is not always easy. You’ll need to work with a lawyer that has experience with these kinds of cases to get the settlement you deserve to help you pay for your injuries and other damages.
At Sally Morin, we truly care about the people of California and have experience handling rideshare accident cases. Call us at 877-380-8852 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.