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Uber and other ridesharing apps have transformed the transportation industry. In cities across the world, with the use of a smartphone app, customers can request and pay for a ride to almost anywhere they want to go. While ridesharing offers a convenient means of transportation, the service does not come without risks. Unfortunately, as the number of rideshare drivers on Arizona’s roadways increases, so do the Uber accidents involving them.
Uber drivers must meet certain hiring requirements. However, they do not receive any special training. They simply hold a state driver’s license like any other motorist.
Were you or someone you love injured in an Uber ridesharing accident? If so, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses. The car accident lawyers at Phillips Law Group have handled many rideshare accident cases and know what is needed to secure fair compensation for our clients.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents
Accidents involving an Uber vehicle may occur for many different reasons. While many Uber drivers operate their vehicles safely, there are some situations where these drivers have acted negligently and caused serious harm.
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s focus away from the task of driving. The distractions may be visual, manual, or cognitive.
Uber driving distractions may include:
- Notifications: Uber drivers receive notifications on their smartphones when they have a new passenger pickup. They then have to click to accept or deny the passenger.
- GPS: An Uber driver may use maps on a phone or GPS to pick up or drop off a passenger in an unfamiliar location.
- Eating or drinking: Since an Uber driver is not making money in between transporting passengers, many people choose to save time by eating while driving.
- Texting: This is a common driver distraction that causes many auto accidents including those involving rideshare vehicles.
- Talking to passengers: Many Uber drivers and their passengers like to converse on the way to their destinations. A driver may become so engaged in the conversation that he or she neglects to focus on the road.
- Scanning: Another common distraction occurs when Uber drivers look toward walkways and sidewalks, scanning for their passengers. Even looking away for a few seconds is long enough to cause a severe collision.
It has been reported that driving while tired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Extreme fatigue may affect a person’s vision, judgment, reaction time, and other skills necessary for safe driving.
For many people driving for Uber, it is their second job or “side hustle.” This means that a person may work a full shift at his or her first job, then log in and start driving for Uber. He or she may already be exhausted and could wind up driving drowsy.
Moreover, many rideshare requests are for early in the morning or late at night. To make more money, some Uber drivers may forgo sleep and work shifts through the night.
Uber and Lyft have both recognized the dangers of drowsy driving and enacted policies in an effort to ensure their drivers are well-rested. Uber requires that drivers must be off duty for at least 6 hours after 12 straight hours of drive time. However, some drivers choose to get around these policies by toggling back and forth between Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies.
Sudden stops and illegal driving maneuvers
The more quickly Uber drivers deliver passengers to their destinations, the faster they can make the next pickup and get more money. Unfortunately, while trying to get from one passenger to the next as quickly as possible, some drivers speed, make illegal turns, disregard traffic signals, and disobey other rules of the road.
Traffic violations are a common cause of rideshare accidents. An Uber driver may be scanning for passengers, spot them, and then stop suddenly in the roadway. This may especially be the case if the driver is in an unfamiliar area. A sudden stop can cause a rear-end collision or another type of car accident.
Who Do I Recover Compensation From After an Uber Accident?
Uber accident victims may be unsure how to receive compensation for medical bills and other damages. Uber has an extensive insurance policy to compensate drivers, passengers, pedestrians, other motorists, and anyone else who suffered injury or property damage as a result of ridesharing services.
When you can be covered by Uber’s insurance
However, Uber has strict rules for when their insurance policy will provide coverage. Whether Uber is liable for damages or not depends largely on how the driver was using the app at the time of the accident.
The following is a brief breakdown of Uber’s insurance coverage:
- The driver was not logged into the app: If the driver was not logged into the Uber app at the time of the accident, then Uber is not responsible for damages. You will need to pursue compensation from the driver and/or that person’s personal auto insurance policy.
- The driver was logged into the app and awaiting a ride request: In this situation, you should be eligible for Uber’s liability coverage. This covers a certain amount for bodily injury per person and per accident, depending on the auto insurance involved, and $25,000 in property damage per accident.
- The driver was logged into the app and accepted a ride request: Once a driver accepts a ride request, according to Uber’s website, the company provides a maximum of $1.25 million for bodily injury.
When third parties are liable
Besides the driver, there may be someone else who contributed to your motor vehicle accident. An Uber accident lawyer can help identify all parties responsible for your injuries.
Other liable parties may include:
- Another driver
- A pedestrian
- A motorcyclist
- Government agencies
- A mechanic
- The manufacturer of a defective product
- A transit company
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