Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services are often seen as and advertised as safe transportation options. However, there is nothing in Uber’s or Lyft’s driver requirements that make drivers for these companies any safer than any other drivers on the road. In fact, statistics show that fatal car accidents have increased by about 3% since these companies came on the scene. 

If you were injured in a rideshare accident, you might wonder whether the rideshare driver was qualified or had a bad record. An experienced car accident attorney can conduct an investigation into the Uber or Lyft driver’s record. 

Dangers of Rideshare Drivers

There are certain inherent risks associated with rideshare drivers based on their business model. Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps pay drivers based on the number of trips they make.  There is a built-in incentive to make trips as quickly as possible. To further add to this problem, many customers offer to give drivers more stars if they make the trip faster. 

Some of the potential dangers associated with rideshare drivers include:

  • Speeding – Drivers have an incentive to finish as many trips as possible, which can cause them to speed. 
  • Unsafe driving – Drivers may take other risks in the interest of saving time, such as making unsafe lane changes, running red lights, or following too closely.
  • Fatigue – Many drivers work for multiple services or multiple jobs, so they may be tired while driving, which increases the likelihood of a crash.
  • Impairment – Some drivers turn to stimulants to stay awake and energized during their shift.
  • Unsafe drop-offs – Drivers may park beside buildings and other locations where there is no valid parking, which can be unsafe for their passengers and others.

If you suspect an Uber or Lyft driver was responsible for an accident, reach out to a lawyer for help.

Uber’s Driver Requirements

To drive for Uber, drivers must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Have a valid driver’s license
  • Have at least one year of driving experience
  • Have insurance
  • Have a qualifying four-door vehicle 

Uber may reject drivers with the following in their driving record:

  • A DUI conviction or reckless driving conviction within the last seven years
  • A serious moving violation within the last seven years 
  • More than three minor moving violations in the past three years

Uber requires applicants to submit to a driver screening process in which their criminal background and driving record are assessed. 

Lyft’s Driver Requirements

Lyft’s driver requirements are similar to Uber’s: Drivers must meet basic age and experience requirements. They must have a valid driver’s license. They must have a vehicle with four doors. Lyft drivers are also subject to a background check and driver screening that checks DMV records and criminal histories. 

Lyft may reject applicants with the following convictions:

  • Offenses that require them to register as a sex offender
  • Felony convictions for violent crimes, fraud, terrorism, etc.
  • A serious moving violation within the last three years
  • A DUI or other drug-related driving violation within the last seven years
  • A serious driving-related conviction in the last seven years, such as a hit-and-run
  • More than four moving violations in the last three years

Lyft’s process to screen driving records is different from Uber’s, so it’s possible a driver could be qualified to drive on one platform but not the other.

How a Bad Driving Record Affects Driving for Uber & Lyft

Based on the information above, it could be possible for someone with a bad driving record to drive for Uber or Lyft. For example, they could have a DUI conviction of more than seven years ago. They could have accumulated some minor traffic violations that do not disqualify them from driving. 

It should be noted that speeding is generally considered a minor traffic violation unless the driver was traveling 20 mph or more over the speed limit. They also could have acquired bad marks on their driving record after they were accepted to drive for the rideshare service.

Unfortunately, negligent rideshare drivers cause accidents despite companies’ attempts to hire qualified drivers. If you were injured in a rideshare accident, a car accident attorney can help.

Contact a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You With Your Claim

For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm of Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers by calling (713) 500-5000

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