Uber and Lyft have become very popular recently, but they’re not without risks. While driving for a ride-hailing service is not necessarily more dangerous than other professions, such as working at a restaurant, there are inherent risks that come with the job. Even though the apps are top-rated, they’re too risky to use safely.
While driving for a ride-hailing service is not necessarily more dangerous than other professions.
While driving for a ride-hailing service is not necessarily more dangerous than other professions—such as working at a restaurant—there are inherent risks that come with the job.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2015, there were 5,865 fatal car accidents in the United States. In 2016, NHTSA found that while "the number of motor vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes decreased 2.6 percent from 2015 to 2016," deaths among pedestrians increased 9 percent, and cyclist deaths increased 8 percent during the same period.
While these numbers are certainly alarming, they do not explicitly show whether or not Uber and Lyft drivers were more likely than other motorists on the road to cause accidents resulting in fatalities or injuries. However, it is essential to note that many of these crashes occurred when an Uber or Lyft driver was operating their vehicle outside of working hours—and thus may have been at fault due to a lack of experience behind the wheel under normal conditions
Even though the apps are top-rated, they’re too risky to use safely.
Even though the apps are top-rated, they’re too risky to use safely. The Uber and Lyft apps can be dangerous for drivers, passengers, the community, the environment, and even the economy.
To make sure you’re going to be safe when you drive for Uber or Lyft:
- Always wear your seatbelt! Ensure it’s working correctly (not broken) before each ride.
- Don't pick up drunk passengers who might get sick in your car. No matter how much they beg or plead with you to take them home—do NOT give in! They're not worth getting sick over!
- If an angry passenger starts yelling at you through your open window ("I'm gonna call 911!"), don't just sit there wondering what happened--do something about it! Make sure they get out of your car without causing harm to themselves first, then go inside where there are other people, so nobody gets hurt (or arrested).
As you can imagine, being attacked by a passenger is one of the most dangerous situations a driver can find themselves in. A rider becomes hostile and threatens the driver or their passengers. In some cases, this results in homicide.
Passengers have killed Uber drivers; however, those instances are rare and usually involve heavy intoxication on both parties involved. That said, there were two such incidents reported in 2018 alone: one occurred in June when an Uber driver was shot during an altercation with his passenger outside of Dallas; another took place just weeks later when another Uber driver was fatally assaulted by her rider near San Diego's Sea World area. In these instances (and others like them), it would seem that alcohol played an essential role in instigating violence against drivers—something that users should probably consider before ordering a ride home from someone else's house after drinking heavily!
The most dangerous aspect of driving for Uber and Lyft is the risk of being involved in an accident. The Uber and Lyft apps track drivers' routes, meaning you can see how many accidents they've been in.
It's not uncommon for drivers to have been in car accidents while on duty or near the end of a shift—sometimes due to fatigue—especially if they're driving long distances to pick up passengers. Many people have also been killed by other drivers who don't notice that there's an app-based cab service operating within their city limits (or on their street). One driver was killed when her car was pulled over by another vehicle attempting to pass it; she died from injuries sustained during the collision.
Lack of insurance
One of the most significant risks of driving for these services is the lack of insurance coverage. Uber and Lyft are not considered employers, so they are not required to offer their driver’s health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, or unemployment benefits.
Uber and Lyft also don't offer retirement plans or paid time off—if you want to take a vacation day or sick leave from your job, you'll have to pay for it yourself.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ride-hailing drivers are at greater risk of assault than taxi drivers. They’re also more likely to be assaulted than other workers and police officers.
In 2018, over 2% of all taxi drivers reported being victims of violence while on duty—more than double the national average. In contrast, just 0.5% of Uber and Lyft drivers were assaulted in a given year between 2017 and 2018; still more than twice as often as other occupations (0.2%).
Drivers have to deal with intoxicated passengers.
As a driver, you have no way of knowing whether or not the passenger is inebriated. You can only ask them if they're okay to drive and then call the police if they answer negatively.
However, drivers aren't allowed to refuse service based on intoxication—even if it means that the driver might get into trouble with the police or lose their job as an Uber/Lyft driver.
The same goes for passengers who misbehave: drivers can't refuse service based on their behavior because it's against company policy.
These apps don’t have proper safety regulations.
These apps lack proper safety regulations and don’t have any background checks or drug tests for their drivers. Anyone with a license and a car can be a driver. And while Uber requires their drivers to have auto insurance, it doesn’t offer any additional coverage above what you would get from your policy if you were driving your car.
On top of all this, there is no way to report passengers behaving dangerously towards the driver or other passengers. No checks and balances are in place, such as an emergency button or GPS tracking system (like in taxis) allowing someone on the road with you to report something wrong and send help your way immediately.
Long work hours can lead to fatigue and accidents.
Long work hours can lead to fatigue and accidents.
A driver who works many hours in a given day, week, or month is likelier to be tired than a driver who averages fewer hours per week, especially if they are self-employed and have no employment protections. Because they are not paid by Uber or Lyft but rather earn commission on their fares, many drivers have little incentive to stop driving before they become fatigued.
Fatigue can lead to accidents: Tired drivers often make mistakes like falling asleep at the wheel or missing turns and exits because their attention has waned due to sleep deprivation and mental exhaustion from being awake for so long without stopping for restorative breaks such as eating meals or taking naps. The longer your workday is (for example, eight hours instead of six), the more likely it is that you will be tired when driving passengers around town at night after having worked since early morning -- which is precisely when most drunk drivers hit the road!
Car theft is a big problem for drivers in many cities.
Car theft is a big problem for drivers in many cities. If your car is stolen, neither Uber nor Lyft will cover the loss of your vehicle. That means if you're an Uber or Lyft driver and your car is stolen, you'll be responsible for paying the total replacement costs out of pocket.
It’s probably best to get around town with a traditional taxi service instead of driving for Uber or Lyft if you live somewhere where thieves target rideshare vehicles at high rates (like New York City). The risks are too significant when losing thousands of dollars worth of property—or even your own life—if something goes wrong during one of these rides!
These apps take advantage of the drivers.
As you've probably already guessed, Uber and Lyft don't care about their drivers. They would pay them more and provide a safe working environment if they did. Instead, these apps are all about the companies making money off of both the drivers and their passengers. They're just trying to make as much money as possible without giving a damn who gets hurt in the process.
Uber and Lyft have been sued by people injured while using these apps because they didn't force drivers to have adequate insurance coverage or provide any safety training for riders (or even require them to pass background checks). These companies also take advantage of their employees by classifying them as independent contractors instead of "employees" so that they don't have to pay into social security or offer other benefits like health insurance or sick leave!
If you read this post, hopefully, you learned a little about the dangers of driving for Uber or Lyft. While it may seem like just a fun way to make some extra money, these apps are not safe and have many hidden dangers that could lead to severe injury or death. If you’re considering becoming an Uber or Lyft driver, think twice before doing so because many other options will keep you safe while providing financial security.