Monthly Archives:' February 2018

Rideshare Driver Safety: Is Driving for Uber and Lyft Safe?

Before you choose to apply to drive for Lyft or Uber, you need to be aware about rideshare driver safety. In today’s digital age, the horror stories about ridesharing are no longer new. You are probably thinking that these companies are doing the best they can to ensure the safety of their drivers.

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However, their ability to protect their drivers is relatively limited due to the nature of their business. Drivers are considered contract workers and not employees, which means valid safety training is not required and thus many drivers do not know how to react to emergency situations.

Rideshare Driver Safety According to the Numbers

Regarding threats to drivers, ride-sharing companies claim that they are keeping a detailed report about them. Nonetheless, the companies refuse to share the numbers with the public. By looking at the data released by the federal regulators, you would probably understand why drivers often need legal guidance from rideshare lawyers.

According to the statistics, taxi drivers are more than 20 times likely to be a victim of a murder while they are on the job compared to other types of workers. Rideshare drivers face many of the same, if not exactly the same, risks.

The Bureau of Labor also released a report in 2014 where a shocking 3,200 taxi drivers were murdered or injured while they were on their job. Around 5.6% of them have sustained an injury that was caused by a violent passenger or person. Due to figures like these, the number of drivers getting rideshare insurance is slowly rising.

Ridesharing Companies Are Aware of the Risk

Judging from the action of the ridesharing companies, they are not completely unaware of the safety risks posed to drivers. Nonetheless, they still refuse to reclassify their drivers as employees probably because they want to avoid additional expenses. Instead, they’re finding other ways to address the issue, some of them quite bizarre.

Recently, Uber has tested a toy that is supposed to distract drunk, disruptive passengers from bothering drivers and potentially putting themselves—and others on the road—in danger. The ridesharing company believes that the best way to dissuade passengers from exhibiting disruptive and dangerous behavior is to entertain them and calm their nerves.

There are also reports that said that Uber is testing how mirrors would affect passengers if they could see themselves in them. The idea behind this concept is to allow the passengers to reflect upon their unruly behavior—both in a literal and figurative sense.

Overall, the drivers of the ridesharing companies are left to fend for themselves. More drivers are choosing not to drive during the wee hours of the night and avoiding picking up drunk passengers. Though it may affect the amount that they will earn, their safety is their priority.

There are rideshare lawyers who specialize in protecting drivers and their rights. In case they encounter unfortunate situations while they are in the job, drivers need lawyers who are willing to advocate for their rights and get them the highest amount of compensation possible when negligence leads to injury and other damages.

How to Handle a Scary Passenger

Rideshare programs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for both passengers looking for cheap transit options and drivers looking for an extra source of income. Rideshare driver safety is a growing concern among drivers, as dangerous situations involving passengers increase as the number of people who participate in rideshare programs increase as well.

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Be Prepared

In any typical stressful situation, adrenaline will cause your body to behave in ways that are difficult to predict. As a rideshare driver, rideshare driver safety depends on your ability to be prepared in advance for any situation that may pop up.

The first thing to have on hand is the phone number of an experienced rideshare lawyer. You can breathe a little easier knowing you have someone who is familiar with the law on your side. As a driver, you should always be up-to-date with your rideshare insurance, and make sure you’re familiar with its terms.

The War on Drugs

As a driver in a rideshare program, you should be prepared for customers who try to do drugs in your car or even talk about specific drug deals while in your car. If this is the case, local law enforcement recommends you end the ride as soon as it is safely possible. The best way to do this is to stop at a populated area that is well-lit, like a gas station or department store parking lot. Make an excuse for your passengers of why you need to stop the ride and that they should find another option.

If you feel this could cause some conflict, make an excuse to exit the vehicle and head into a business to make your phone call to 911. Stopping at a police station is not recommended, as this could cause an adverse reaction in your passengers that could put your safety and the safety of others at risk.

Abusive Passengers

Drivers in rideshare programs can be subject to verbal and physical abuse from their passengers. This can range from name-calling to full-out physical assault, and you need to be prepared for any number of situations. Unfortunately, many rideshare businesses employ drivers as independent contractors, so official rideshare driver safety training isn’t offered for many rideshare drivers.

Verbal abuse can be ignored, but physical abuse puts not only you and your passengers in danger, but anyone on the road can become potential collateral damage. In the event of a physical altercation, you need to safely stop the car as soon as possible and exit the vehicle. Call 911 immediately and report the situation. If you feel your safety is still in danger, get to a safe location like inside a store or around other people as soon as you can.

The Camera Is Your Best Friend

Your most precious tool in any of these dangerous situations is a dash-cam. Visible cameras within your vehicle will not only discourage unruly passenger behavior, but it’s also your best evidence against any false claims of what happened during the ride.

New California Traffic Laws for 2018

The California Legislature passes new laws concerning different spheres of life every year, and 2018 is not an exception as new traffic laws have already taken their effect on January 1 of this year. All of them were carefully examined by our experienced car accident attorneys in preparation of this article. Some of these laws are important and necessary, while others may be more controversial.

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Here is a quick overview of the New California Traffic Laws for 2018 and their effect on citizens of the Golden State.

The Usage of Marijuana

Even passengers are now not allowed to do anything that can distort the driver from the road and hinder driver safety. This law prohibits passengers to from ingesting or smoking marijuana if they are sitting in a moving vehicle.

Pedestrians’ Security

The new law makes it even clearer when pedestrians can cross the road. It clarifies that people can legally cross the street while the “Don’t Walk” signal or its equivalent are flashing. However, this is only allowed if the person can manage to cross before the traffic signal is stops flashing. The authorities hope that this law will make pedestrians safer, and even prevent them from crossing the road when it is prohibited. If effective, this law may even decrease the number of car accidents.

Regulating the Work of Ridesharing Services

Drivers who are working for ridesharing companies, such as Lyft or Uber, are now subject to stricter blood alcohol regulations. If there is a passenger in the car, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 are strictly prohibited from driving. Those who break this rule can get in trouble with the law. Our car accident lawyers think it’s just about time for this regulation.

Smog Checks Exemption

The smog checks exemption has been prolonged from six to eight years. However, drivers will have to pay more money annually. The fees will increase from $20 to $25 during the seventh and the eighth years.

A Training Program for Motorcyclists

Thanks to a new law, motorcyclists may complete a CHP-approved motorcyclist-training program in lieu of the required motorcycle skills test. After completing the course, motorcyclists receive a certificate that waives the skills test. This does not apply to riders under 21 years of age, as they still have to complete a novice motorcyclist-training program.

All in all, the new California Traffic Laws have improved road safety. Our team of car accident attorneys approve!

Recovering from Accident Trauma

If you’ve recently been injured in an accident, you may be experiencing many different feelings: shock, disbelief, anger, anxiety, fear, and guilt. These feelings may hit you all at once right after the accident, or they may gradually arise in the following days or weeks.
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What you are experiencing is trauma, and it is perfectly normal. Most accident victims experience trauma on some level, especially if injuries are involved. Usually, trauma goes away with time, and life goes back to normal. However, if the trauma remains or worsens after a long time has passed, it can become a serious, life-affecting issue.

When Trauma Becomes PTSD

Normal trauma is temporary and, like most physical wounds, heals with time. Post-traumatic stress, on the other hand, can change the way you act and think in the long term and get in the way of everyday life. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms after an accident, you may have post-traumatic stress:

  • Persistent anxiety
  • Fear of driving or riding in vehicles
  • Resistance against medical treatment
  • Irritability and mood changes
  • Nightmares or insomnia
  • A feeling of disconnection from the world around you
  • Constant, uncontrollable “replays” of the accident inside your head

Taking Steps to Recover

There are active measures you can take to facilitate your recovery from accident trauma:

1. Talk about your experience. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up inside. Instead, tell a friend, family member, or counselor about the accident and what you’re going through. It may sound like a cliché, but talking really does help.
2. Keep yourself active. Don’t do anything that might exacerbate your injuries. That said, talk to a physician to establish your limits and do what you can to stay active and healthy.
3. Follow up with your doctor. Your health matters first and foremost, so be proactive and vigilant. In the weeks and months following your accident, check with your doctor often to monitor your recovery. If you’re struggling with symptoms of post-traumatic stress, your doctor can refer you to a mental health specialist or therapist.
4. Try to get back to a routine. Accidents are often disruptive, making victims feel like they have lost control of their lives. It is an important part of the healing process to regain a sense of control and normalcy. The best of way of going about this is to reestablish a routine and stick to it.
5. Make stress reduction a priority. While some stress is normal, too much stress will only hinder your recovery. Relieve stress in the moment by practicing mindful breathing and engaging in sensory input that calms you down. Other effective stress reduction methods include meditation, taking time to relax, and getting plenty of rest.

As an accident victim, you should be able to focus 100% on your recovery, from your physical injuries as well as your mental trauma. However, you need compensation for your damages (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.), which means you must file an injury claim. In your current state, you may not be prepared to take on the legal challenges that come with a claim.

Fortunately, the top injury attorneys at Lalezary Law Firm can handle every aspect of your claim for you, so you can focus on your well-being. We will file the paperwork, get you coverage for your medical expenses, get your vehicle repaired or replaced, and more—and at no upfront cost to you. To speak to an attorney now, call (310) 550-8888 for a FREE consultation.