This uber car accident lawyer has seen a significant uptick in clients injured as a result of being involved in a ridesharing accident. Are uber drivers more likely to cause car accidents? To understand why I believe the answer to this question to be: yes. You have to understand that this opinion has nothing to do with Uber attracting inherently bad drivers. I would guess that Uber attracts a wide spectrum of skilled drivers – from excellent drivers to those that drive quite poorly. The bell curve probably closely resembles the general public.
As an uber car accident lawyer, the basis for why I believe Uber drivers are more likely to cause accidents has much more to do with the Uber business model.
Are Uber Drivers More Likely to Cause Accidents?
In the years leading up to the advent of rideshare, car accident fatalities were at a record low. Since then, fatal car accidents have increased by roughly 2-3% each year. But does correlation indicate causation? Is this rise in deadly accidents due to the rideshare drivers now flooding the roads?
When you get into an Uber, you expect to find yourself in safe hands, and there’s no doubt that employing good drivers is important to the company itself. However, while drivers might start out driving safely and legally, they don’t always remain that way. Uber has incorporated an in-app design based on behavioral science—which works to encourage drivers to log more hours for less money, often without even realizing it.
This increase in time spent on the road may, in turn, increase poor driving over time. Let’s take a look at the ways Uber keeps their drivers on the road, how these methods affect driving quality, and what you should do if you are in an Uber accident.
How Many Hours Can an Uber Driver Work in One Day?
Drowsy driving can have a deadly impact on a driver’s reaction time and attention span. Uber drivers are only allowed to drive for 12 hours before having to take a break from the app for a minimum of six hours. This rule was put in place in order to reduce the number of drowsy rideshare drivers on the road. While this might seem like a step in the right direction, 12 hours of continuous driving is still quite a long time to be on the road.
Uber Uses Behavioral Science to Encourage Drivers to Stay on the Road
There’s no arguing that Uber is a convenient, cheap, and mostly safe way to get from point A to point B while traveling. An Uber driver is probably no more than two minutes away in metropolitan areas such as downtown Miami or downtown Ft. Lauderdale. But this convenience comes at a cost: Uber tries to incentivize their drivers to stay on the road for longer periods, which will lead to increased profits but can also raise the risk of accidents.
Where most employers are concerned, the federal law affords their employees certain protections, such as paid overtime for certain categories of workers and mandatory lunch breaks. The purpose of these regulations is to protect workers from abuse. However, contracted workers, like Uber drivers, are not guaranteed these same protections. In a NY Times article, investigators point out that Uber has paid scientists to develop techniques within the app that are designed to influence when, where, and how long a driver will work.
These techniques include messages that tell Uber drivers they are close to hitting certain earnings, which can easily lead a driver to add just a few more rides to their shift. Behavioral economists call this “income targeting.” This steers Uber and Lyft drivers to work longer hours on days where demand is not as high. And while these subtle tactics might seem harmless under controlled conditions, Uber has undergone this type of testing without the user’s knowledge or consent.
Similar to the way Netflix encourages binge-watching, the Uber app will also automatically pull up the next passenger before the current passenger is even at their destination—keeping the driver in the app and on the road for longer periods. This tool, referred to as “forward dispatch,” makes drivers more likely to forgo breaks and continue driving. The more an Uber driver dries, the more achievement badges they receive, along with persuasive, congratulatory text messages that inform a driver when they are close to a goal that results in a monetary bonus.
Miami Uber Driver Accidents
Miami is a major tourist location, and Uber can be a convenient way to get around the city. However, the large number of people needing transportation can produce an increase in accidents over time. More drivers continue to sign up for Uber, some even using the app as their primary source of income. But the compelling incentives that keep drivers on the road can end up encouraging drowsy or fatigued drivers to pick up just one or two more riders—which can easily lead to a fatal accident.
How Many Uber Accidents Have There Been?
Ridesharing services are often praised for improving safety on the roads by removing potential drunk drivers, but research indicates that accidents have actually increased since their introduction. Since 2010, there has been a 2-4% increase in fatal vehicle accidents throughout the United States.
Your Uber Accident Lawyer
What happens if you or a loved one is injured in an accident with an Uber driver? You might find even getting in touch with the company difficult and wonder how you can possibly secure compensation for your injuries. In the event of an accident, it’s vital to contact an experienced Uber accident attorney.
The skilled personal injury lawyers of Neufeld, Kleinberg, & Pinkiert, PA, are able to help victims injured in car accidents that involve drivers and passengers of Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rideshare accident, contact us today. We serve the entire state of Florida and are eager to advocate on your behalf.
Uber Car Accident Lawyer Resources