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Uber, Lyft still popular but problems remain

.Alabama auto accident attorney

Beyond the pain of injuries and the cost of damages, rideshare crashes exact tolls in other ways, such as vague details of dangers facing bicyclists.

For example, it is a positive step that Uber published its first U.S. Safety Report covering 2017-2018.

While the report on rideshare crashes includes details about fatal incidents, it lacks information about crashes that didn’t involve deaths, according to techcrunch.com, which reports on the business of the technology industry.

For bicyclists, encountering Uber and Lyft cars on the road has often meant getting “doored”. "Dooring" is smacking into car doors flung open at destination stops. Who pays when a cyclist is injured and a rideshare car is involved?

Both Uber and Lyft insure their drivers. That coverage, however, and the amount of coverage available, will vary, and is triggered only during specific phases of operation, according to VeloNews, which covers bike racing.

Details about Uber's safety report

According to Uber’s safety report, from 2017-2018, an average of over 3.1 million trips took place each day in the United States. The report said 99.9 percent were free of safety issues.

Uber crashes included 107 fatalities in 2017 and 2018. About 90 percent of the Uber-related fatal crashes occurred in urban areas.

The techcrunch.com story raised some questions. First was the absence of the Uber safety report of statistics related to non-fatal crashes involving its drivers. If the rates of Ubers getting into fender-benders or serious crashes where someone gets hurt are lower than the national average, why not say so?

An Uber representative said non-fatal crashes were not as well defined or tracked as fatal crashes are. They said this makes reporting them difficult.

Another question has to do with how the safety report defines an Uber-related crash. All of the fatal crashes in the statistics cited occurred with a driver either en route to a pickup or during a ride. What’s the safety record when Uber drivers are cruising around waiting to be hailed? Driving without a passenger in the car is inarguably a major part of being an Uber driver.

An Uber representative said crash data from trips are more reliable. This is because drivers might not report a crash if they’re not driving someone.  A trip is defined in this case as a driver either en route to a pickup or during a ride.

What are my options if I'm hurt in an Uber crash?

With collisions with bicyclists in mind, here’s how insurance coverage works for Uber and Lyft, according to VeloNews:

  • Off-Duty: The driver is not logged into the rideshare’s smartphone app, so the rideshare company’s insurance policy does not apply. All rideshare drivers are required to carry their own car insurance. That policy is deemed responsible while the driver is not logged into the app.
  • Available for Hire: The driver is logged into the rideshare app and is available for hire. The rideshare company’s insurance policy provides up to $50,000 coverage per person for bodily injury, up to $100,000 total injury liability per crash caused by the driver, and $25,000 property damage caused by the driver. The rideshare company’s insurance policy does not cover injuries to the driver or damage to the driver’s vehicle.
  • En Route to Passenger: The driver is en route to pick up a passenger. Liability coverage increases to $1 million.
  • En Route with Passenger: Coverage begins when the passenger is in the driver’s car and ends at drop-off. The rideshare’s insurance provides $1 million in liability coverage, $1 million in bodily injury coverage, and damage to the driver’s vehicle. This is only if the driver has their own collision or comprehensive coverage, however.

Contact Mike Slocumb Law Firm today for help with rideshare crashes.

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