What Causes Uber Accidents?
In 2022, Uber drivers completed a staggering 7.6 billion trips. That figure surpasses the previous record set in 2019, just before the coronavirus pandemic. Demand has surpassed pre-pandemic levels, but supply largely remains the same. Furthermore, these drivers don’t stay long. Less than 5 percent of Uber drivers work for the company for more than a year.
Given the number of trips and the number of inexperienced drivers, Uber accidents are inevitable. Some of the most common causes are outlined below. These claims are quite complex, since in most cases, the company is financially responsible for car crash damages. So, only the most experienced Carlsbad personal injury lawyer should handle such matters.
Uber pays its drivers by the trip, not by the hour. This system encourages Uber drivers to speed. Excessive velocity is a factor in about a third of the fatal car crashes in California. Speed increases the risk of a wreck and the force in a collision.
Speed multiplies stopping distance, which is the distance a car travels between the time a driver sees a hazard and the moment the driver safely stops the vehicle. At 30mph, stopping time, which is mostly reaction time, is about six car lengths. At 60mph, stopping distance multiples to eighteen car lengths.
Velocity also multiplies the force in a collision, according to Newton’s Second Law of Motion. Basically, speed transforms a non-injury “fender bender” into a serious injury collision. These serious injuries usually include broken bones, head injuries, and other wounds that are permanent, in one way or another.
Many Uber operators drive aggressively in other ways as well, such as tailgating, running a red light, and changing lanes unsafely.
Because of the high demand and high turnover rate, many Uber operators drive in unfamiliar parts of town. As a result, they often over-rely on GPS navigation devices. These gadgets are legal to use while driving in California, if they’re in hands-free mode.
Hands-free isn’t the same thing as risk-free. Hands-free devices are visually and cognitively distracting. These operators take their eyes off the road and their minds off driving. Furthermore, these gadgets give drivers a false sense of security.
The danger is real. According to several studies, driving while using a hands-free device is as hazardous as driving drunk.
Fatigued driving is also as dangerous as drunk driving. Operating a motor vehicle after eighteen consecutive awake hours is like driving with a .04 BAC level. That’s above the legal limit for commercial operators in California.
Many Uber drivers are dangerously fatigued before they get behind the wheel. Uber is a side hustle for most people. So, they get behind the wheel after a full day of completing work or family obligations.
No matter what caused the Uber accident, compensation in these cases usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. As mentioned, the company is usually financially responsible for these damages, under the respondeat superior doctrine.
Rely on a Dedicated San Diego County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Carlsbad, contact the Pursley Law Firm. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.