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.
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.