Is Ride-Sharing Making Our Roads Safer?

Is Ride-Sharing Making Our Roads Safer? The concept of ride-sharing has revolutionized both modern commuting and partying alike. You no longer need to designate one friend to be the sober driver after a night out in Memphis. Maybe your car is being worked on and renting a vehicle is entirely too expensive. Now, you have more options for better prices, even for those who live away from any public transport. A couple taps and someone comes right to you, with a background check completed and comfier seats to boot.

All this is to say, ride-sharing was invented to boost convenience and safety. If everyone can easily access a ride, people will be less inclined to get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t or trust some of the sketchier avenues for getting home. On paper, this all seems ideal, but is it keeping people safe? Are we actually seeing a notable decrease in fatalities specifically due to ride-share services? Are there really fewer people choosing to drive under the influence?

Just how much trust should we put into corporations like Uber or Lyft when it comes to our safety?

How Uber contributes to traffic fatality statistics

In August of 2021, a study came out detailing the true impact of Uber, specifically on traffic fatalities. At first, it seems incredibly promising. When the study was published, it showed how Uber has reduced traffic fatalities around the country by 4%, and by 6% for traffic fatalities relating to alcohol. So, at first glance, everything seems to be going according to plan. We may not have specific state statistics, but we know that, on a national level, ride-sharing has indeed made our roads safer. Right?

Unfortunately, that study comes with a couple caveats. First and foremost, the data compiled is only up to 2017. We do not have a solid answer on whether or not those numbers have gone up, down, or stayed the same since then. Secondly, only Uber is taken into consideration. The experts involved do theorize that the numbers may be even greater with Lyft included, but we only have speculation to cite for that.

By far, the most concerning complication is Uber’s notorious history of fudging the numbers. When they were tasked with investigating how many accidents occur with their drivers, they reported back with a low, inaccurate number. Not only did it only count fatalities and completely neglect to report non-fatal collisions (which may have resulted in catastrophic injuries), but it also intentionally left out key figures due to hand-wave-y excuses (like how they define an “Uber-related crash”). It’s full of missing pieces and pretty obvious attempts at misleading the public. Uber’s lack of driver oversight is part of a bigger problem, but in the meantime, it endangers everyone who uses the service. The whole point of Uber was a safer alternative to taxis, but taxi drivers are vetted more than Uber drivers.

So, with all this in mind, we have to wonder: can we trust any study that Uber willingly participates in, especially if it shines the company in a positive light? Just how much was left out to bring researchers to that 4%? We may never have a concrete answer to these questions, but we can all make sure we know what these ride-share companies are actually responsible for, and work to hold them accountable when someone gets hurt.

What to do if you’re in an Uber or Lyft accident in or near Memphis

No one should live their lives in fear, but exercising reasonable caution and being aware of the risks around us are important and are great ways to protect ourselves. You don’t need to expect to get into a catastrophic car accident every time you’re on the road, but you should know it’s always a possibility, especially here in Tennessee, unfortunately. There were over 1,200 traffic fatalities in Tennessee in 2021, much higher than 2020. As people get back on the roads after the pandemic, their excitement and lack of driving practice leads to high-speed, devastating collisions. Keeping that in mind means your brain is even readier to react if something goes wrong, because you’re more focused and in control — and hopefully watching your speed, and wearing a seatbelt.

If you do use a ride-share service, pay attention to the ratings and reviews of your potential driver. Remember that it is better to cancel a ride and wait longer for a safer one than risk it with someone who throws up red flags, in any situation. Once you are in their car and on the road, you are at their mercy. Buckle your seatbelt and stay aware of your surroundings.

Unfortunately, there is no concrete way to guarantee you or your Uber driver won’t get into an accident, so knowing potential steps to take afterwards is another important way to protect yourself. Ride-share companies are not considered common carriers, which means they’re not as liable as other transportation in the case of an accident. And, since their employees are technically “contractors,” they have essentially designed their company to be as difficult to legally pin down as possible. They do provide up to $1 million worth of insurance to cover passengers after an accident, but they do not exactly want to pay it. Not only that, but if your injuries entitle you to compensation that exceeds that amount, they want to believe that is not their problem.

Know that the best way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to hire a Memphis Uber accident attorney as soon as you can. Seeking medical attention should always be your first step after an accident, but finding legal representation to advocate on your behalf is a close second. The right attorney knows how to hold companies like Lyft and Uber accountable and make sure you receive the justice and compensation you deserve.

At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we have experience navigating the complexities of ride-share accident cases, and we know how to lead you and your family through to the other side. If you have been seriously injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, trust our Memphis car accident attorneys to provide aggressive, tireless representation that gets results. We help families in Memphis, Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee. To learn more, call us today at 901-475-7434 or use our contact form.