Ridesharing has become one of the more popular options for transportation in the Pittsburgh area and throughout Pennsylvania. While a convenient option for passengers, studies have shown that rideshare vehicles have increased the number of accidents, injuries, and even deaths on the road for drivers, passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and those in other vehicles. Rideshare accidents happen for many different reasons, and at Disney Law our office is here to help victims of rideshare accidents get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. To learn more about your legal options after an accident involving a rideshare vehicle, call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over one-quarter of all traffic accidents nationwide list speeding as a contributing factor to the crash, and accidents involving speeding kill over 9,000 people every year. Rideshare drivers rely on five-star review ratings from their passengers to continue driving for their rideshare companies, and one way they try to accomplish this is by getting riders to their destination as quickly as possible. Oftentimes, this results in drivers speeding, and unfortunately that can lead to many accidents on the road.
Driver inexperience is another common cause of rideshare accidents in Pennsylvania. Unlike taxicab companies that have rigorous standards for drivers, rideshare company requirements to drive for Uber and Lyft are comparatively lax. Drivers over the age of 23 years old only need one year of driving experience in order to become a rideshare driver, and drivers between the ages of 21 and 23 years old only need three years of driving experience to qualify. Drivers for rideshare companies also need zero knowledge of the location where they are driving. This inexperience sadly leads to many accidents every year involving rideshare vehicles and drivers that simply do not know where they are going or what they are doing.
Driving While Drowsy
Driving while drowsy is another common cause of rideshare accidents. Ridesharing takes place 24/7, and unlike commercial trucking requirements or other regulated industries, there is nothing that states how long a rideshare driver can be on the road before taking a break. In addition, many rideshare drivers work for Uber and Lyft as a side gig, and they are working other jobs during the day. The long hours of working multiple jobs or being behind the wheel can lead to drowsiness, which studies have shown causes the same lack of responsiveness behind the wheel as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drowsy driving leads to many accidents every year that injure drivers, passengers, and others simply because a rideshare driver was too tired to drive safely.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs also causes many accidents involving rideshare vehicles. Rideshare drivers never undergo drug or alcohol screening before driving, and there is no set schedule for when they are supposed to drive. As such, it is easy for a rideshare driver to imbibe alcohol or other illicit substances and then decide to activate the app to drive. Driving under the influence can significantly impair reaction time, judgment, cognition, and more that puts the driver, passengers, and others at serious risk.
Failure to Obey Traffic Signs and Signals
Every driver on the road, including rideshare drivers, is required to obey all traffic signs and signals. Failure to obey the rules of the road can easily lead to an accident, and the driver at fault can be liable for any injuries caused by their negligence. Common signs and signals that are ignored or overly disobeyed by rideshare drivers include passing in a no passing zone, failing to use turn signals, driving through a red light, failure to stop at a stop sign, failing to yield, changing lanes without signaling, and more.
Part of obeying the rules of the road also include driving appropriately for the weather conditions. While bad weather can be a contributing factor in accidents, it is the responsibility of the driver to slow to an appropriate speed and drive more cautiously in inclement weather. Failing to heed signs about ice on bridges or to use fog lights can cause accidents for rideshare drivers and others sharing the road.
Driving distracted is one of the most common causes of accidents for rideshare drivers given the nature of their job. Distracted driving can come in many forms, from fiddling with the radio to talking with others in the vehicle, or texting while driving. Rideshare drivers are particularly prone to distracted driving because driving for Uber, Lyft, and others requires the use of an app on a phone.
Drivers must look at their phone to see where potential passengers are requesting a ride, accept or reject rides from users, and use their map for directions. With the “pool” option, where multiple riders can get picked up at different points along the route, drivers are looking at their phone even more while behind the wheel, and this type of distracted driving has led to serious accidents.
Finally, while less common than some of the other causes, driver violence also leads to accidents and injuries with rideshare vehicles. There are well known cases of rideshare drivers committing violent acts against their passengers, road rage incidents with other drivers, and intentional violence against others in the community. If you would like to learn more about the common causes of rideshare accidents or to learn more about what your claim might be worth, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney today.
Contact Disney Law Today to Learn More
If you or someone you know has been injured in a rideshare accident in the Pittsburgh area you deserve to be compensated for the damage caused by their drivers. Call or text Robert Disney at 412-999-5765 or contact us today at Disney Law to speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney and to schedule a consultation of your case now.
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Ridesharing has become one of the most common forms of private transportation in metropolitan areas, such as Pittsburgh, in the last few years. Companies such as Uber and Lyft hire independent drivers to use their own vehicles as personal taxis as a convenient and cost-effective method of private transport. However, differences between rideshare companies and other forms of transportation result in unique challenges when an accident occurs.