Ridesharing in the United States
Since the founding of Uber in 2009 and the creation of similar companies in the years since, ridesharing services have taken the world by storm. Allowing users to quickly and easily hail a ride anytime and nearly anywhere, it is a convenient, reliable, and often budget-friendly method of transportation for many people.
However, for many others, there are risks and complications associated with the use of ridesharing services. Motor vehicle accidents involving ridesharing drivers can be difficult to resolve due to the multiple parties and complicated insurance policies involved. Furthermore, although different laws exist in each state about vetting drivers, there is still the potential for crimes to be committed by the ridesharing drivers themselves.
In an effort to better understand both the benefits and risks of ridesharing, we took a look into what is commonly known as the “Ridesharing Revolution” in the United States.
Why Are Ridesharing Services Popular
Ridesharing companies, also known as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), provide a valuable service to commuters by connecting them with drivers willing to transport them to their preferred destination. For commuters lacking a traditional method of transportation such as a car or bicycle, ridesharing is a convenient way to stay mobile and traverse a city or town without a vehicle. Even for commuters who do have their own vehicle, ridesharing provides them with an additional option to travel and may help ease traffic congestion since less vehicles are on the road.
There is a difference between ridesharing and traditional taxi services, since ridesharing allows passengers to hail a ride quickly, easily and remotely through an application on their mobile device. Additionally, the application provides users with a price quote before initiating the ride and allows them to track the driver’s location before and during the ride, request carpooling for a lower cost, and pay their fare using a credit or debit card. All of these features, and more, make ridesharing convenient and popular.
It may come as a surprise to some, but ridesharing companies don’t just offer rides. Many companies have expanded their list of services to include bike and scooter rentals, food delivery, and even transportation via autonomous vehicles. By offering a variety of services, ridesharing companies can expand their user base and encourage more people to try it.
What Are The Most Common Ridesharing Accidents?
Collisions with other motor vehicles on the road are the most common type of accidents involving ridesharing drivers. These collisions can occur for a variety of reasons:
- A driver is distracted while following their map instructions to pick up or drop off a passenger
- A driver is driving erratically or unpredictably when attempting to locate their passenger for pick up
- Failure to obey or notice traffic signals, road signs, and other rules of the road due to distractions while transporting their passenger
- Fatigued drivers who have been working long hours have a higher likelihood of causing an accident
- Failure to maintain vehicle safety standards and meet routine inspections
Vehicle on vehicle collisions are not the only hazards that accompany ridesharing. Pedestrians are also at risk of being injured by distracted or erratic rideshare drivers. Furthermore, there have been accounts of violence and sexual assault against passengers by their drivers, as well as instances of people impersonating ridesharing drivers to pick up passengers.
What Are The Laws Regulating Ridesharing in the U.S.?
In the United States, there is only one federal law that regulates ridesharing services. This law has no bearing on ridesharing passengers, but instead rules that drivers are independent contractors, rather than employees of the ridesharing company. Otherwise, ridesharing companies must operate under the guidelines and regulations of state-specific laws.
What Should I Do After A Ridesharing Accident?
If you or a loved one are injured in a ridesharing accident, regardless of whether you are a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, these are the seven steps you should take immediately:
- Check that all parties involved in the accident are safe
- Call 911 to report the accident to police
- Seek immediate medical attention for all injuries
- Get contact information from other parties involves, and any witnesses to the accident
- Take photographs and notes to document the accident
- Report the incident to the ridesharing company
- Speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal options
TALK TO ZINDA LAW GROUP
If you have been hurt due to the negligence of another party and have decided to file an injury claim, our personal injury lawyers are on hand to help you navigate the legal process. We will focus on building the strongest case possible and seeking maximum compensation for your injuries while you focus on recovering. Further, our No Fee Guarantee means that you will pay nothing unless we win your case!
Call Zinda Law Group today at (888) 671-5127 for a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.
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