7 Safety Tips for Uber and Lyft Drivers
How to Stay Safe Behind the Wheel While Driving for Uber or Lyft
The rise of ridesharing has been beneficial for drivers and riders alike. Drivers are able to earn money using their own vehicles, and riders benefit from the convenience and affordability of being able to request a ride to go to their destination.
It is essential for rideshare drivers to maintain the highest safety standards while they are on the job. Below, our expert team of rideshare attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers have created a list of safety tips for drivers to follow while they are picking up and dropping off riders.
- Use a Phone Mount
- Minimize Distractions From Riders
- Pay Attention to Any Unsafe Conditions When Accepting a New Rider
- Prepare for the Unexpected With an Emergency Car Kit
Rideshare drivers pick up riders according to the alerts that they receive on either the Uber or Lyft app. Directions are also displayed on these apps to inform the driver on what path would be the most ideal one to take to avoid heavy traffic. Rideshare drivers must pay attention to these important features to provide efficient service to the rider.
To have easier access to view these notifications, it would be essential for a driver to use a phone mount. A phone mount will allow the driver to have a better view of any notifications or directions the app is displaying. This will prevent the driver from taking his or her eyes off the road to open the app and check for any important notifications. It is suggested to place your phone mount on the dashboard of your vehicle for easy visibility.
It can be tempting to take your eyes off the road and engage in a conversation with new riders in your car. However, your first priority is to complete your task of dropping the rider off at their selected destination. Be sure to refrain from looking in the rear-view mirror for extended periods of time to avoid chances of getting into an accident.
Before you begin driving with a new rider in your car, pay attention to any signs of whether the rider is sick, inebriated, or otherwise unsafe to transport. Once you begin your task, you automatically owe the rider a duty of care to keep them safe on the road.
Upon noticing that a rider may be in need of urgent medical attention, an Uber or Lyft driver should attempt to communicate with the rider to assess the severity of the situation. Do not hesitate to call 911 and report any medical emergency. You have every right to pull over if it appears that the motion of driving is making the rider nauseous.
Now that you understand that you have the responsibility of keeping your riders safe as an Uber or Lyft driver, it is a good idea to be prepared to handle an unexpected emergency while on the road. It can seem overwhelming at first to think of every emergency situation that you could possibly encounter while working as a rideshare driver, however, it is always a good idea to have an emergency kit ready at hand.
Some of the most important items that you should be sure to include in an emergency vehicle kit include the following.
- Water bottles
- Snack bars
- Flashlight with batteries
- Road hazard flare
- Duct tape
- Extra phone charger
- Basic first aid kit
- Jumper cables
- Spare tire
- Hand sanitizer
Vehicle inspections for all Uber and Lyft drivers is a major requirement that must be completed. Ridesharing companies enforce an annual inspection of all vehicles being used by their drivers to ensure that they are in good condition. To complete your required vehicle inspection, you can go to one of the Uber or Lyft vehicle inspection stations across the state.
Even if you are not up for an annual vehicle inspection, there are still components of your vehicle that you can inspect on your own to prevent accidents. For example, you should never drive without working headlights and tail lights. You should also check your tire pressure so that you are not driving with underinflated or overinflated tires. It could impact your ability to drive safely in the rain or other hazardous weather conditions.
One of the regular maintenance tasks that you should always perform on your vehicle is making sure that the windshield glass is clear and that your wipers are functioning properly. You may need to replenish the windshield wiper fluid. Try to clear out any obstructions in your vehicle that get in your way of seeing the rear-view mirrors.
While it can be tempting to stay on the clock and complete as many rides as possible, rideshare drivers should pay attention to their alertness, especially after they have been driving for a while. Drowsiness or sleepiness while you are behind the wheel can make your reaction time much slower. You are also less likely to spot hazards and dangerous drivers on the road. Be sure to take enough breaks throughout your work shifts so that you are physically and mentally ready to perform your work duties.
No matter how safe you are behind the wheel, accidents can still happen when you least expect it. That is why it is important to understand how you are covered through your auto insurance policy.
Do not make the mistake of thinking that you do not have to have a personal auto insurance policy just because Uber and Lyft have insurance policies to offer you. While there is an auto insurance policy in place for Uber and Lyft drivers in the act of accepting riders through the app, many rideshare drivers also use their car for personal reasons.
Personal car use would be anything that does not involve being paid through the Uber or Lyft app to drive a rider to their selected destination.
California established state minimums for auto insurance coverage that all drivers must maintain as long as they own a vehicle registered in California. Under state law, the categories of auto insurance coverage that you are required to maintain when using your vehicle for personal use include the following:
- Property damage liability coverage
- Bodily injury liability coverage
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage
- Uninsured/Underinsured motorist property damage coverage
Contact West Coast Trial Lawyers Today
If you have sustained injuries as a result of a rideshare accident, our experienced team of Uber and Lyft accident attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers can help you recover compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call us today at (888) 341-9802 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.