The ridesharing company Uber has become a prominent part of transportation in the United States in recent years. Although there are many benefits to this ridesharing service — such as fewer drunk driving accidents and reduced car emissions — Uber car accidents are not uncommon in Kentucky.
Between 2017 and 2018, Uber reported 107 deaths that involved their drivers. One can imagine that Uber drivers caused far more injuries, but the ridesharing service refused to release the total wreck and personal injury statistics.
Dangerous Uber drivers put others at significant risk and may injure their passengers, other drivers, and pedestrians. If you’re injured in an Uber accident, you need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit to recover compensation.
In this blog, you’ll learn about common causes of Uber accidents and when to file an Uber car accident claim.
Distracted driving is a serious problem as numerous drivers in Kentucky drive while engaging in manual, cognitive, or visual distractions. Common forms of distracted driving include using a cell phone, handling a GPS, eating or drinking, personal grooming, and adjusting the radio.
When it comes to rideshare services such as Uber, drivers are even more likely to be distracted because they usually use a GPS as they transport passengers. Driving with a GPS creates a visual distraction, and looking away from the road to view the device for even a second can cause a devastating accident.
Additionally, Uber drivers often have to deal with distracting passengers, especially because people use rideshare services to avoid drinking and driving. Intoxicated passengers or loud groups can create serious distractions that may take an Uber driver’s attention away from the road.
Speeding and Reckless Driving
To make more money, Uber drivers need to reach their destinations quickly. Rather than being paid hourly, these drivers are paid with each completed job, meaning they have more of an incentive to speed and engage in dangerous driving maneuvers. Additionally, riders are more likely to tip drivers who get them to their destinations quickly.
Speeding often contributes to or causes traffic accidents because drivers have less time to avoid approaching obstacles, such as other cars or objects. It’s also harder to control your vehicle when driving over the speed limit.
Driving over the speed limit also increases the likelihood of causing a more devastating accident because the force of impact will be more significant.
Other forms of reckless driving include ignoring traffic signals, driving on the shoulder, and weaving in and out of traffic lanes suddenly.
Driving While Fatigued
In recent years, Uber has enforced a policy to try and cut down on Uber drivers operating their vehicles while tired. Uber drivers are not allowed to be on the clock for more than 12 hours at a time and they must be eight hours off the clock after a 12-hour shift.
Although this policy has slightly helped reduce the risk of drivers operating their vehicles while exhausted, many drivers also work for other rideshare companies, such as Lyft, meaning that a driver could still work for over 12 hours by operating their vehicle for another company. Additionally, many Uber drivers work for the rideshare company at night and work different jobs during the day.
Because many Uber drivers work well over 12 hours in a given day, they may operate their vehicles while fatigued, which can cause a serious or fatal accident.
Driving while fatigued impairs your reaction time and also hurts your ability to make split decisions, both of which are critically important for operating a vehicle safely. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration even stated that operating a vehicle after being awake for 18 hours straight hinders a driver’s ability to drive safely as much as having a blood alcohol level of .08%, which is over the legal limit.
Driving While Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol is always dangerous as it can negatively impact drivers’ ability to make decisions and see approaching cars. It also affects a driver’s ability to approximate distances accurately, which can cause a serious collision when turning. Driving under the influence of prescription drugs can also impair drivers and cause fatal accidents.
Negligent maintenance refers to when a driver fails to properly maintain their vehicle, which then contributes to or causes an accident. Drivers have an obligation to perform regular maintenance on their vehicles, such as oil changes, changing tires and brakes, and checking fluids.
For example, if a driver’s brakes fail, causing them to rear-end another vehicle, the driver is still liable because they’re responsible for getting their brakes checked and replaced.
Filing a Claim After an Uber Accident
If you’re injured by an Uber driver that was using the Uber application at the time of the accident, you would file a claim with Uber’s insurance. Uber’s insurance covers up to $1 million when their drivers are using the application and are transporting a customer or are on their way to pick up a customer.
If the driver was using the application but hadn’t yet accepted a job, Uber’s insurance will cover $50,000 per person or $100,000 per accident in addition to $25,000 of property damage.
When Uber drivers are not using the Uber application, it’s their responsibility to cover damages. You’ll need to file a claim with the Uber driver’s personal car insurance.
Contact an Uber Car Accident Attorney
Although Uber has $1 million of coverage, you may struggle to recover the compensation you deserve after an accident. Uber’s insurance company will likely work to try to reduce the amount of damages you’ll receive to save money.
If you’re struggling to obtain the full compensation you deserve after an Uber accident in Kentucky, contact the Uber car accident attorneys at McCoy & Sparks Attorneys at Law. We’ll represent you to reach a satisfactory Uber car accident settlement. And if we can’t reach an acceptable settlement, we’ll help you through the process of suing Uber for your car accident.
Contact us today at 844-459-9467, or you can schedule a free case consultation online here.