Being in a rideshare accident is traumatic. It can also be difficult to know exactly how to go about getting compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and all the expenses that come along with an automobile accident. There are many factors that make a Lyft or Uber accident different than a two-party accident. Who is the liable party, and how do you make sure you are compensated fairly?
In July 2022, in Phoenix, AZ, an accident caused by the driver of a stolen vehicle killed 2 passengers and the driver of a Lyft rideshare vehicle. This raises the question: who pays? To date, this has not been settled.
Since the vehicle at fault was stolen, it’s likely there is no applicable insurance. There are, however, real human consequences, and compensation is necessary.
This is just one example of the complicated nature of liability regarding rideshare accidents. At Wade & Nysather, we are paying close attention to the trends in rideshare safety and the factors that affect passengers. Over the years, we have represented numerous clients who have been injured due to Uber or Lyft accidents, consulting clients regarding insurance coverage aspects as well as dealing with the personal injury and wrongful death aspects of rideshare accidents.
Here’s what you need to know if you are a passenger involved in a rideshare accident. For a No Cost, No Obligation Legal Strategy Session, contact Wade & Nysather AZ Accident Attorneys today. We may be able to get you compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and more.
How Has Traffic Safety in Arizona Changed Because of Uber and Lyft?
The roads have become more perilous since 2010, when ridesharing was launched across the nation. In the 1980s, the number of fatal accidents began to fall. This continued until 2010, when there was a reverse in that trend. With the introduction of ridesharing comes a 3% increase in fatal accidents per year.
Arizona’s population is growing. Experts predict that by the year 2040, the population will expand by more than a quarter. An increase like that means more vehicles on the road and a natural increase in the number of rideshares. A dangerous accident is more likely to happen as Uber and Lyft continue to grow because they both face their own unique risks.
Calculating Accident Risk
Experts evaluate the risk of a vehicle accident by examining two factors: vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and average driver quality.
- Vehicle Miles Traveled: VMT is determined by the total annual miles of vehicle travel divided by a state’s population or the population of a busy urban area.
- Average Driver Quality: Average driver quality is determined by evaluating driver skill and intoxication or impairment. This includes intoxication by substances, both legal and illegal, and impairment due to illness or fatigue.
What Are the Top Causes of Lyft and Uber Accidents?
There are 6 primary causes of Uber and Lyft accidents on Arizona’s roadways. These are things to pay close attention to when riding as a passenger.
1. Distracted Driving
The number one cause of vehicle accidents, distracted driving, is even more problematic in rideshare situations.
- The rideshare app is running during trips, alerting the driver to upcoming fares. This is how they earn their income, so it commands attention.
- Navigation systems and maps are also in constant use, especially as rideshare drivers are often in unfamiliar territory.
- Quite often there is conversation between driver and passenger.
2. Unfamiliar Roads
Lack of familiarity with a road or area poses risks of driving infractions due to things like poor signage, one-way streets, and unfamiliarity with traffic patterns.
3. Driver Fatigue or Intoxication
Chances of fatigue in Lyft or Uber drivers are higher due to long shifts and many more hours on the road than most other drivers. intoxication is reported as a cause of rideshare accidents, as well.
4. Unsafe Locations
Ridesharing is expected to be a quick and convenient transaction. This means in busy areas, pickups and dropoffs are often in unsafe places like a curb or even a traffic lane, leaving the vehicle and passenger vulnerable to other vehicles nearby.
Rideshare drivers are more likely to drive at higher speeds. Remember: their time is their money.
6. Vehicle Maintenance
Drivers are required to submit to vehicle safety inspection when they begin their employment, but there’s no guarantee of maintenance of that standard over miles, months, or years of driving.
Regardless of the reason, if you were injured in a Lyft or Uber accident, contact Wade & Nysather today for a No Cost No Obligation Legal Strategy Session.
Contributing Factors to the Increase of Uber and Lyft Traffic
Ridesharing has increased most in large cities, defined by high population, and impoverished cities, defined by per capita income. Cities with high public transportation use saw a dramatic decrease in public transportation use and an uptick in ridesharing, attributed to public transportation users becoming rideshare drivers as well as riders. This, of course, was another contributor to the increased number of vehicles on the road.
A few years ago, Lyft and Uber began offering drivers the option of renting a vehicle through the company, again introducing another stream of new vehicles into the pipeline. These added reasons and opportunities for vehicle ownership for income use have significantly changed the driving environment for private drivers and for rideshare passengers alike.
Inflation has increased the pressure to work more and longer shifts, and to accept more fares, thus increasing the risks discussed above. Consider that drivers spend 40% – 60% of their time searching for passengers, referred to as “deadheading.” As they spend more time on the road, the risk of distracted driving grows exponentially.
Referring back to the Phoenix accident in which two passengers and the driver of a Lyft vehicle died in an accident with a stolen car, the confusion over who pays for the damage can leave victims unfairly compensated at best. Rideshare drivers are not required to carry uninsured motorist insurance coverage, which compensates such victims in two-party accidents.
Injured in a Lyft or Uber Accident?
Don’t try to navigate all these factors alone. If you were injured or lost a loved one in an Uber or Lyft accident, contact the experienced Arizona car accident lawyers at Wade & Nysather AZ Accident Attorneys for a No Cost No Obligation Legal Strategy Session. You may be entitled to compensation for the injuries or wrongful death suffered because of a Lyft or Uber driver’s negligence.
We have locations in Scottsdale, Glendale, and Mesa to serve residents all around the Phoenix area, so contact us today.