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How to Stay Safe Behind the Wheel While Driving For Uber and Lyft -- Free Insight From the Best Rideshare Accident Injury Lawyers


Important Safety Tips for Uber and Lyft Drivers


Staying Safe on the Road as an Uber or Lyft Driver

Ridesharing allows drivers to make money on their own schedule by working for a rideshare company, such as Uber or Lyft, to pick up passengers according to locations received from a ridesharing app. The rise of ridesharing has been beneficial for drivers and passengers alike. Drivers are able to earn money using their own vehicles, and passengers benefit from the convenience and affordability of being able to request and take a ride in a ridesharing vehicle in almost any location. It is essential that rideshare drivers working for companies like Uber and Lyft maintain the highest safety standards while they are on the job. Following the road safety tips below will help drivers for ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft keep themselves, their passengers, other drivers and pedestrians safe while they are on the job.

Use a Mounting Device for Your Phone


Uber and Lyft drivers pick up passengers according to the alerts that they receive on the rideshare apps. They also use these apps to receive directions for their routes and log their pickups and drop-offs. As such, Uber or Lyft drivers must have their smartphone publicly featured in the car during a ride.

Even though you may have to pay attention to directions off of the app, you can still take steps to minimize the distractions that it interjects into your driving process. You can also make sure that it is properly mounted in your car so that you do not have to hold it in your hands. This allows you to keep both of your hands on the steering wheel at all times. You will be more responsive in avoiding accidents and will have your eyes on the road.

Be sure to mount your smartphone in an area that is easily visible within your car. In addition, you should keep your phone charging cord easily accessible so that you do not have to take your attention off the road to connect your phone to a charger.

Minimize Distractions from Passengers


It can be tempting to take your eyes off the road and engage in conversation with new passengers in your car. However, your first priority is avoiding accidents on the road. Be sure to refrain from looking in the rearview mirror for extended periods of time because you are conversing with a passenger.

Pay Attention to Any Unsafe Conditions When Accepting a New Passenger


Before you begin driving with a new passenger in your car, pay attention to any signs of whether the passenger is sick, inebriated, potentially dangerous or otherwise unsafe to transport. Once you begin driving with a passenger in your car, you then owe that passenger a duty of care to keep them safe on the road. This is worth mentioning because many passengers use Uber or Lyft rides as a substitute for calling 911 to seek medical treatment.

Ever since California Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) went into effect on January 1, 2020, Uber and Lyft drivers are considered employees of the companies that they are driving for. This means that the companies assume liability for any of their drivers' failure to exercise their duty of care when transporting a sick passenger. While it is true that Uber and Lyft drivers are not trained medical professionals, they still assume liability for the safety of the passenger if they allow someone who needs medical attention to stay in their vehicle.

Upon noticing that a passenger may be in need of urgent medical attention, an Uber or Lyft driver should attempt to communicate with the passenger 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 your vehicle if it appears that the motion of driving is making the passenger nauseous.

Prepare for the Unexpected with an Emergency Car Kit


Now that you understand that you have responsibility for the safety of your passengers as an Uber or Lyft driver, it is a good idea to be as prepared as possible to handle an unexpected emergency while on the road. Although it may seem overwhelming at first to think of every emergency situation that you could possibly encounter while working as a rideshare driver, an emergency kit is a good first step to take towards preparedness.

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

Complete Regular Vehicle Inspections


Both Uber and Lyft have company policies in place regarding required vehicle inspections for all drivers. They require an annual inspection of all vehicles being used by their drivers to ensure that they are in good working order on the road. 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 rearview and side mirrors.

Build in Scheduled Rest Time


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 if you have not had sufficient sleep before driving.

Be sure to take enough breaks throughout your work shifts so that you are as fresh as possible behind the wheel. This is critically important if you are driving at night or have not been sleeping for many hours at night.

Maintain Your Personal Auto Insurance Coverage


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. This is true whether you were partially at fault for the accident or are the victim of another driver's negligence while you were driving for Uber or Lyft.

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 cover accidents caused by their drivers while transporting a passenger. While there is an auto insurance policy in place for Uber drivers in the act of accepting passengers through the app, many Uber drivers also use their car for personal purposes. Personal car use would be anything that does not involve driving a passenger who purchased a ride through the Uber or Lyft app. California established state minimums for auto insurance coverage that all drivers must maintain as long as they own a vehicle registered in California.

The categories of California auto insurance coverage that you are required to maintain for your personal vehicle use under state law include the following:

  • Property damage liability coverage
  • Bodily injury liability coverage
  • Uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage
  • Uninsured 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 financial 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 experienced, caring, and compassionate legal team.

CONTACT WEST COAST TRIAL LAWYERS TODAY


If you have been injured in an accident, you can count on the legal team at West Coast Trial Lawyers to fight for your rights every step of the way. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney.
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