Traveling by car may be more convenient than other modes of transportation, but it is also one of the most dangerous. While most Americans own or lease personal vehicles, there are several reasons that someone might use a car service like Uber instead of getting behind the wheel. While Uber is a cost-effective and effortless way of getting where you need to go, utilizing a car service does not decrease the likelihood of an accident.

Car accidents can leave a lasting impact on the quality and longevity of your life. Therefore, it is essential to know your legal options should your Uber be involved in a collision. Depending on the cause of the accident and your driver’s status, you may be entitled to compensation.

Are Uber Drivers Reliable?

Like most rideshare companies, Uber issues background checks on each of its drivers before putting them on the road. These background checks verify a driver’s identity and report any driving violations, violent crime, and impaired driving incidents. 

Uber maintains the right to rerun driving records and background checks when deemed necessary. Despite this, drivers may not continue to drive the same way they did when they first applied to the company.

Due to the nature of Uber’s driving incentives, which include offering bonuses for driving during off times and for more extended periods than usual, it is not unlikely for drivers to stay on the road despite being fatigued. This can cause an increase in at-risk driving and, therefore, a high likelihood of an accident.

How Does Uber Ensure Rider Safety

Uber has introduced several safety features intended to provide additional confidence to both its riders and drivers.

  • Emergency assistance button: an in-app feature that allows passengers to call 911 in the case of an emergency
  • 24/7 incident support
  • GPS tracking
  • 2-way ratings
  • Share My Trip: a feature that enables riders to inform friends and family of their whereabouts
  • RideCheck: a service that continuously verifies the driver is on-course and that a crash has not occurred
  • On trip reporting: for passengers to discreetly send a report to Uber should they ever feel unsafe

Despite these built-in features, passengers need to take precautions to guarantee their safety. 

How To Safely Use Uber

While Uber implements preventative measures by vetting its drivers and guaranteeing its passengers’ safety, you must know how to protect yourself and ride responsibly. Despite its sophisticated rideshare system, it is essential to verify your driver’s identity to ensure your safety. 

There are several things to look for before getting into an Uber:

  • The license plate number on the car should match the one listed in your mobile app
  • Verify the car make and model match the description in your confirmed request
  • Compare the driver’s photo to the individual behind the wheel
  • If they do not say your name when they arrive, verify the order by asking, “Who are you picking up?” If they do not know, or can’t answer confidently, do not get into the car

Verifying your driver’s affiliation with Uber and that they have been assigned to your travel request will lessen the chances of getting into the vehicle of an unapproved driver.

What Should I Do If My Uber Is In An Accident

If your Uber is involved in an accident, follow the standard protocol, and first ensure that everyone involved is okay. If anyone needs medical attention, including yourself, call for help. Be cautious, and dial 911 if you are at all uncertain that someone may need assistance. Do not attempt to reposition or otherwise move anyone who is critically injured without a medical professional onsite.

As with any accident, there are several vital steps to take once everyone is safe: 

Call the Police

Always notify the authorities of an accident so that a report can be filed. Particularly if your driver hesitates or fails to call the police, make sure they are contacted before taking any additional action. 

Regardless of the severity of the collision, you must remain onsite and ensure that the police have your account of the incident. They will be essential to determine which driver was at fault and provide details to support your legal case.

Collect Contact Information

Take the time to note the contact information and insurance of everyone involved, including your driver and other passengers. Should there be a discrepancy in the report, the ability to reach out for clarification or additional information can be critical. 

Notify Associated Parties 

It is essential to file reports with the police and Uber, your insurance company, and the insurance company of the other driver(s). Make sure to provide detailed information, including the Uber driver’s name, date of travel, time of the request, and intended destination. When filing reports, it is reasonable to provide more information than may seem necessary.

Consult With An Attorney

Uber accidents can be complex from a legal perspective. Although your insurance may not cover your injuries due to being a passenger, you may still be entitled to compensation based on the police report and establishment of fault. An accident lawyer will help ensure that you get the most out of your claim and can assist with completing the process efficiently. 

After an accident, you can ensure an efficient and appropriate response to any injuries by taking the necessary precautions.