And How Passengers In Florida Should Handle Them
So you’ve been out with your friends, having fun and a few drinks too many. You decide to make the “right” decision and call on an Uber or Lyft driver to get you home safely.
But within minutes of getting in your ride, you sense something is a bit off. You might smell the odor of alcohol or marijuana, or notice that your driver is swerving a bit into another lane.
You come to a conclusion you definitely don’t want to face, and definitely didn’t expect: your “designated driver” for the night—the one you’ve not only paid but put your trust into—is just as, if not more, intoxicated than you are.
- Intoxicated Driving
Intoxicated driving is just one of the top five causes of rideshare accidents, and unfortunately, it’s not as uncommon as most people would assume.
So, how should you handle such a situation?
The answer is simple: ask the driver to immediately end the trip, and call 911 once you exit the vehicle. Both Uber and Lyft have a critical response team that can be accessed via the app any time, day or night. Contact this team as soon as possible to report the driver—doing so could save someone’s life.
- Distracted Driving
In Florida, an auto accident caused by distracted driving occurs about once every hour, which is more than almost every other state in the country.
Many of these distracted drivers are employed by rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft, as their job often requires driving in unfamiliar locations and therefore relying on a map to reach their destination. At the same time, they will be screening incoming requests for other rides and maybe even trying to maintain friendly conversation with you, the passenger.
Surprisingly, a sober yet distracted driver is six times more likely to cause an accident than an intoxicated and otherwise focused driver. This means that any signs of distraction from your Uber or Lyft driver need to be taken very seriously.
If you find yourself in this situation, you have every right to ask your driver to pull over and complete their task before continuing to drive. If you know how to reach your destination, you might also offer the driver assistance in getting there, so that they do not have to rely on their phone’s GPS.
As always, you can choose to end the ride at ANY TIME, and you should do so if you feel that is the safest option. After the ride has ended, be sure to post a review of the driver so that other passengers can be made aware of your experience and the risk they would assume by accepting a ride from the same driver.
Due to the nature of the job, Uber and Lyft drivers are usually trying to pick up and drop off passengers “on time.” They might even be accustomed to passengers rushing them along or asking them to pick up the pace. While you might not request that, and instead prioritize your safety by requesting that the driver follow all rules of the road, you might find that your driver is breaking them.
Speeding limits a driver’s ability to brake in time to avoid unforeseen obstacles in the roadway or a collision with another vehicle. As a passenger in the vehicle, this puts your life in danger.
You are entitled to tell the driver to slow down, and/or request to end the ride. You should post a review and report the driver to the rideshare company if you felt unsafe at any time while in their vehicle.
- Driver Fatigue
Many Uber and Lyft drivers work long hours, which means driving for hours on end, often without a break. This can quickly lead to driver fatigue, which is just as dangerous as intoxicated driving. It can mean an inability to concentrate on the road, slowed reaction times, a failure to see stop signs, and overall poor judgment.
Some drivers might even close their eyes for a second too long—and even one second with eyes off the road can lead to a serious collision.
As a passenger, you should be on the lookout for drivers who appear fatigued or drive in a way that concerns you. If you feel unsafe at any point, ask the driver to end the ride, and report dangerous driving to the rideshare company.
- Poor Vehicle Maintenance
Poor vehicle maintenance is one cause of Uber and Lyft accidents that most people completely overlook—including the drivers! Whether it’s a failing brake system, worn or low-pressure tires, broken tail lights, or wheel misalignment, it could be the precondition of a life-threatening auto accident.
Since poor vehicle maintenance isn’t something as obvious to the eye as speeding, distracted or intoxicated driving, or driver fatigue, it’s usually not discovered until after it has led to an accident. However, as a passenger, you should still be diligent about paying attention to the way the car drives, and anything that stands out as unsafe, such as a tire that clearly needs air.
If identified before an accident, these concerns can be pointed out to the driver. In the meantime, you can decide to end the ride and request a different driver. If an accident occurs, be sure that your rideshare attorney considers the condition of the vehicle when investigating liability.
Call Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A.—Hallandale, Florida Uber & Lyft Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, protecting your right to compensation is paramount. By hiring a Florida rideshare accident attorney, you can focus on healing from your injuries, rather than on the stress and legal minutiae of your case.
At Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., you’ll find seasoned Uber & Lyft accident attorneys who are ready and eager to evaluate your case. We serve many cities throughout Florida, including Miramar, Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Hallandale Beach, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and Jacksonville.
Call Today: 800-TELL-ROBERT.