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Do Uber Driver Requirements Make the Rideshare Experience Safer?

Though millions of people take Uber worldwide, the concept of getting into a car with a complete stranger can still be jarring. After all, you don’t know this person. You also don’t have any knowledge of their criminal past or even their driving history.

With several stories in the media alleging sexual assault, kidnapping, and even rape against Uber and Lyft drivers, you may be wondering how safe it really is to ride with an unknown driver.

West Coast Trial Lawyers are the top personal injury lawyers in Los Angeles and we are here to answer any questions you may have regarding Uber and Lyft cases.

Uber Driver Requirements

Uber has a variety of requirements for the different services they offer. The general requirements set for UberX, XL, Pool, and Select drivers dictate that he or she must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have a 4-door vehicle that is no older than 15 years
  • Have an in-state car insurance policy in their name
  • Have an in-state driver’s license
  • Have in-state license plates
  • Have a social security number
  • Pass a background check and driving record check
  • Pass a vehicle inspection test

Uber Black and Black SUV Requirements

Uber Black and Black SUV are a more luxurious version of Uber’s familiar ridesharing services. Commercial registration, commercial insurance, and stricter car requirements will apply. For these services, a driver’s car must be classified as a “commercial vehicle.”

This basically means that this vehicle must be designed to carry more than 15 passengers and can be used for business purposes. Depending on your city and state, you may be required to get a commercial driver’s license. Although Uber generally doesn’t ask for this, some cities will require it, depending on the size of the vehicle.

Uber Background Check

Pedestrian Deaths in Los Angeles

Uber requests that all drivers undergo a background check. Background checks are conducted by a third party, who will later inform Uber about acceptance or denial. For a majority of states, Uber runs a background check once a year. It is in their power to run the check whenever they like.

A driver’s criminal background must be clear of felony convictions, violent crimes, or sexual offenses. Though some non-violent felons are accepted, Uber usually makes a determination based on the nature of the crime.

While conducting a background check, Uber looks into:

  • Federal courthouse records
  • Motor vehicle records
  • National sex offender registry
  • County courthouse records for every county of residence in the past 7 years
  • Social security traces
  • The multi-state criminal database

In addition to passing a background check, a driver must also meet the following requirements regarding their driving record:

  • One year of U.S. licensing history.
  • No DUI’s or dangerous driving charges
  • California residents must not have a DUI in the past 10 years.
  • No more than three traffic incidents in the past 3 years.
  • No speeding violations in the past 3 years.

Uber Vehicle Inspection

In order to ensure safety on the road, Uber and Lyft have similar vehicle requirements. Every year, it is mandatory for all vehicles to be inspected. Vehicle inspections are free at an Uber or Lyft Hub. During inspection, an automobile must pass the following points by having functional:

  • Headlights
  • Tail lights
  • Turn indicator lights
  • Stop lights
  • Foot brakes
  • Emergency/Parking brakes
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Clean windshields
  • Seatbelts
  • Windshield wipers
  • Front seat adjusters
  • Horn
  • Speedometer
  • Bumpers
  • Muffler and exhaust systems
  • Tires with proper tread depth
  • Interior and exterior rear-view mirrors

Points Against Your License

In certain states, you may be penalized for reckless driving. The demerit point system is set in place by the state and can affect your driving record for years. Typically, points can be added or subtracted with time. However, Uber does not take points into consideration when reviewing your record because states employ different point systems.

Available Damages

Accidents happen. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Below is a brief explanation of damages. Damages are a type of monetary award that is determined by a court of law to help compensate an aggrieved individual for any losses or injuries sustained as a result of someone’s negligence.

Economic Damages
Economic damages are intended to compensate a plaintiff for losses that a dollar amount can readily be attached to. Economic damages are calculated by determining the amount of out-of-pocket losses an aggrieved individual has or will expect to incur as a result of their injuries.

A few examples of economic losses include:

  • Loss of Earning Capacity
  • Medical Bills
  • Lost Wages

Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are essentially intended to cover losses that are thought of as subjective and will not necessarily cover out-of-pocket losses. Non-economic damages may include compensation for:

  • Emotional Distress
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Punitive Damages
The third type of damages a California court may award are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended as punishment and are only awarded when a defendant’s behavior is especially harmful. Punitive damages are relatively rare and in fact were only incorporated in 5 percent of all verdicts.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help

If you were involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, our experienced personal injury attorneys at West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the compensation you deserve for your losses. We are committed to resolving your legal issues as quickly as possible while receiving the best results. Our clients are represented on a contingency fee basis. If we do not win, you owe us nothing. There is no financial risk to prevent you from reaching out.

Contact us today by calling (213) 927-3700 or emailing [email protected] to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable, caring, and compassionate legal team.

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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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