As more and more Uber and Lyft vehicles dominate the roadway, Floridians should be aware that ride share drivers are not required to undergo fingerprint background checks, and are not required to pass comprehensive driving tests or undergo training, as most other commercial drivers are required to do. Some rideshare drivers are even driving with temporary driver licenses.
As preventable rideshare accidents continue to occur, one would hope that Lyft and Uber will do the right thing for customers by investing in comprehensive driver training and supervision and customer safety measures. They certainly can afford it.
However, until that happens, below are a few safety tips to keep in mind before entering an Uber or Lyft vehicle:
– Look at the Rating – Check to see what the drivers star rating is on the application. If below a 4.8 star rating there could be red flags, thus proceed with caution or cancel the ride as other customers have likely left negative reviews and ratings about the driver; and Uber/Lyft may have negligently failed to take any action to protect their customers from the erratic or reckless driver.
– How many Rides? – Check to see how many rides the assigned driver has completed. This will assist in understanding the driver’s experience on the roadway.
– Get in the Right Car – Make sure that the rideshare vehicle make/model and license plate match with what is listed in the rideshare application for the driver and vehicle coming to pick you up. If it does not match what is listed in the application, do not get in the vehicle and report to Lyft/Uber immediately. The driver could be using an unauthorized vehicle that has not passed a comprehensive inspection, and shockingly, Lyft and Uber have negligently failed to put mechanisms in place to ensure that drivers are only using safe and authorized vehicles while using the application.
– How Does it Look? – Before entering the vehicle – take note of the cleanliness. Do the seat belts work? Does the driver appear disheveled or tired? Is the music blasting? Is your driver on the phone or texting when picking you up? Pay attention and trust your instincts, if something seems off report to Uber/Lyft and cancel the ride.
– Watch Out for your Friends – Never put an unaccompanied friend or family member in an Uber/Lyft while they are intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, or medication. Get in the car with them and make sure that they are dropped off safely. The flawed Lyft/Uber background checks are full of holes that will allow individuals with criminal records to slip through the cracks and operate as rideshare drivers with the ability to pick up hundreds of unsuspecting customers.
In short, until rideshare companies place more of an emphasis on customer safety as opposed to increasing profits, consumers will have to remain aware of the serious risks that they may face when getting into a stranger’s rideshare vehicle. Better to be safe than sorry.
If you have been involved in a rideshare accident don’t hesitate to contact the attorney’s at Abrams Justice at 305-709-0880 for a free consultation right away. We will work around your schedule and come to you.