Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft provide a convenient service for many Massachusettsans. The benefits also come along with the risk of accidents that cause injuries or fatalities for passengers, occupants of other vehicles and pedestrians alike.
Numerous types of roadside accidents involve ridesharing drivers, whether directly or indirectly.
1. Drowsy driving
Drivers who work for ridesharing companies are often encouraged to log as many hours on the app as they can. Incentives such as bonuses and guaranteed payments entice drivers to look for more passengers by working long, exhausting hours. Drowsiness leads to lack of attention and slowed reaction times.
2. Inexperienced drivers
Generally, Uber and Lyft drivers have less road experience than typical taxi drivers. Massachusetts law mandates that drivers who rideshare be at least 21 years old with at least three years driving experience. Drivers older than 23 only need a year of experience.
Additionally, inexperienced rideshare drivers means a decreased ability to safely drive in inclement weather and on bad road conditions, potentially leading to accidents.
3. Failure to obey traffic laws
Any driver on Massachusetts roads must obey traffic laws, signs and signals. A rideshare driver who does not follow these rules might cause an accident. If the driver’s actions lead to death or injuries, he or she faces criminal or civil liability.
4. Distracted driving
Ridesharing drivers may find themselves distracted by their passengers, eating meals and using their smartphones. Working long hours means trying to eat behind the wheel. Additionally, they use the rideshare apps to find passengers and figure out the destination, which adds to dangerous and distracted driving habits.
Overall, inexperienced, drowsy or distracted Uber or Lyft drivers may cause accidents resulting in injuries or death to passengers and pedestrians.