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    Distractions to Rideshare Drivers

    Published on Feb 21, 2022 at 8:21 pm in Rideshare Accidents.

    How is texting and driving against the law while using an Uber app while driving is legal? There are a variety of reasons why that same question concerns us as well. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the distractions rideshare drivers face.

    How Is Distracted Driving Defined?

    Any of the following behaviors are considered distracted driving:

    1. Using your phone while driving 
    2. Grabbing something from or turning to say something to a passenger in the back seat
    3. Being glued to the rearview mirror
    4. Using the radio or navigation system
    5. Smoking, drinking, eating
    6. Putting on make-up
    7. Having an in-depth conversation with a passenger or over the phone

    Distracted driving has become an issue ever since phones designed to travel with you became widespread, and Uber drivers use their phones constantly.

    Distracted Driving Statistics

    Here are some eye-opening statistics about distracted driving:

    • According to the CDC, a quarter of distracted driving fatalities involve drivers in their 20s.
    • Distracted driving is the cause of 3,000 fatalities and 280,000 injuries annually, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 
    • Distracted drivers cause almost a million traffic collisions yearly. 
    • From 2010 to 2018, distracted driving has decreased due to texting-and-driving laws, hands-free technology like Bluetooth pairing with the car, and apps like Android Auto, OneTap, and LifeSaver.
    • Two states still don’t have anti-distracted driving legislation on the books.
    • The most common driving distraction is the use of a cell phone.
    • In 2019, 8.7% of all auto accident deaths were caused by distracted driving.
    • While behind the wheel, trying to grab a buzzing phone is more dangerous than actually talking on it.

    Are Rideshare Apps Distracting?

    Rideshare apps, like Uber and Lyft, allow people to request a ride through an app from a private person driving their own vehicle (not a taxi or corporate vehicle). During the pick-up, driving, and dropping-off process, the driver must use that same app to check in and follow directions to the destination.

    Did you know the Uber app gives drivers just fifteen seconds to reply to a new ride alert? In other words, if the driver wants to maximize her or his income and take as many rides as possible, they need to respond before the other drivers, whether they are merging onto a crowded downtown street or making a left turn in a busy intersection at the time or not. Uber can even suspend drivers if they do not respond to these leads quickly enough.

    From Uber’s Own Website

    Despite its reliance on smartphone use by drivers, Uber’s own website tells their drivers things like:

    • Using a cell phone while driving is dangerous (along with adjusting the radio and the things listed above)
    • Humans are incapable of multitasking (it is physically impossible for our brains to successfully focus on two things at once)

    Rideshare Statistics

    Since 2011, when rideshare apps arose, there has been a 3% increase every year in car accident fatalities (about 1,000 additional deaths per year). Not only that, but fatal accidents for pedestrians and bicyclists have risen in the same time period as well. Research shows that the increasing number of drivers who lack any type of professional driver training and are being constantly distracted by their rideshare apps is to blame. No surprise.

    We Are California Rideshare Accident Attorneys 

    If you have been involved in a rideshare accident, you need a law firm like us, well-versed in rideshare case law and statutes, to help. Contact us today for free legal advice about your case.

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