What Happens if My Uber or Lyft Driver Gets in an Accident?

It’s undeniable that rideshare services like Uber and Lyft have revolutionized transportation, kept impaired drivers off the road, and offered unparalleled levels of convenience and accessibility. 

Unfortunately, the increase in usage means more congestion and accidents. According to a recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study, there were over 7,000 Lyft accidents reported in Arizona between 2017 and 2019. Of the 7,000 accidents, approximately 40 percent of them resulted in injuries and 4 percent led to deaths. 

Given so many people love the convenience that rideshare services provide to get around, is there anything you can do to keep yourself safe? 

Rideshare Safety Tips Anyone Can Follow

The reality of utilizing a service like Uber or Lyft is that you’re putting your safety at risk by accepting a ride with a stranger. If that person is reckless or aggressive, you could find yourself in an unwanted – and unsafe – situation. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself and hopefully enjoy a smooth ride. Start with these top rideshare safety tips:

  1. Find a safe place to wait for your driver where it’s well-lit and there are plenty of other people around. Avoid your home if you are able to. 
  2. Learn about your driver through their profile, such as how previous passengers have rated them, the badges they’ve earned, how long they’ve been driving, the number of trips, etc. If any of the details bother you or make you uncomfortable, choose a different driver. 
  3. Confirm your driver matches the description you’ve received, which should include identifying details such as name, photo, vehicle, and license plate number. Don’t get into the vehicle if any of the details are missing or off. 
  4. It may sound like a small detail but it’s best to sit in the back seat when possible, which would allow you to easily exit the vehicle safely and may better protect you in case of an accident.
  5. It’s a given that you should always wear your seatbelt in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. Not only is it safer but not wearing one could affect your customer rating.  
  6. Once you’re settled into your ride, text or call a friend or family member and share your trip details, such as where you’re going, how long the trip should take, and who you’re driving with. Check in with a friend as needed to confirm that you’re safe. 
  7. Unfortunately, the most convenient time to request an Uber or Lyft is when you’re too intoxicated to drive safely yourself. And although using a rideshare service is ALWAYS better than driving while intoxicated, entrusting your safety to a stranger while in a vulnerable state may not be wise. Don’t ride as the only passenger if at all possible. Or, instead, ask a sober driver you trust to give you a life when you’re impaired. 
  8. If your driver is engaging in any unsafe behavior like speeding, tailgating, or running red lights, don’t hesitate to speak up. You have a right to call out unsafe driving habits or ask to be let out at the nearest safe location. Then, report them to their rideshare service to protect future passengers from facing the same danger. 

What to Do if Your Uber or Lyft Driver Gets in a Car Accident

You can take all the safety precautions but since rideshare drivers are human like anyone else, accidents can still happen. Here’s what you should do if you’ve been involved in a rideshare accident:

  • Remain calm
  • Protect yourself first and foremost. Seek medical care immediately if there’s any possibility of injury. 
  • Contact the police or ensure that someone else does. They will conduct an investigation and file an accident report that is used by insurance carriers. 
  • Notify the rideshare company of the accident through the app. You’ll need to do this as soon as possible. 
  • Contact your insurance carrier and let them know you were involved in a crash inside a rideshare vehicle. You’ll want to relay basic details about the accident. 
  • You may need to consult with an attorney who can step in and gather all of the evidence needed to prove liability. 

Confused About Who is Liable in a Rideshare Car Accident? We Can Help.

The liability isn’t always clear when it comes to a rideshare accident. In a typical car accident, the at-fault driver is responsible for any damages. With a rideshare service, this can change depending on whether the driver was considered to be working at the time, which shifts liability over to the employer (in this case Uber or Lyft). 

If you need help understanding any of this and wish to discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with an experienced Tucson personal injury lawyer, contact us today.