Super Bowl Sunday is nearly here and with it comes lots of fun and camaraderie. Super Bowl Sunday also brings news of accidents, often caused by individuals driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or the result of the sheer numbers of vehicles on the road, including Uber and Lyft ride sharing.
Across the country, approximately one-third of all vehicle accidents are caused by impaired drivers, and Uber and Lyft drivers are no exception (though you likely expect them to be). With Super Bowl Sunday on the horizon, and you likely to be a host or a guest at a Super Bowl party, so let’s take some time to explore the effects of Uber and Lyft on the number of incidents which will probably be reported on and around the biggest football game of the year.
The 2020 Super Bowl will be hosted right at home – The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. The Nationals Football Conference champion San Francisco 49ers will play against the American Football Conference champion Kansas City Chiefs at the 54th Super Bowl.
Are Ridesharing Apps Leading to More Accidents?
The truth is, in all likelihood, yes. With more Uber and Lyft drivers on the road, the possibility of car accidents increases. In one recent study by the University of Chicago, the evidence indicates that ridesharing apps, like Lyft and Uber, are contributing to a higher number of traffic fatalities, thus making roadways less safe. As a matter of fact, traffic fatalities have increased three percent since ridesharing apps were introduced in 2011. As the apps popularity rises, so does the death toll related to vehicle accidents. Uber and Lyft not only increase the number of cars on road, but also increases the amount of time those cars are on the road.
Even so, you may be wondering, are there really large numbers of Uber/Lyft accidents. Obviously, it seems safer to call on a ridesharing app rather than driving under the influence yourself, but is it? Do ridesharing apps make the roadways safer or more dangerous? Researchers at Stonehill and Providence Colleges, have shown that in instances where alcohol or other drugs could be involved, ride sharing services seem to have resulted in a decrease in DUIs and accidents, anywhere from 15 to 62 percent. While the researchers acknowledge other factors, like the availability of alcohol, how closely traffic is monitored, etc., effect the study’s results, they do give some credit to ridesharing services.
Accidents by Uber and Lyft, particularly with the promise of self-driving vehicles, may make people wonder if the services are as safe as they contend. In general, ridesharing services’ drivers seem to exceed the number of traffic accidents of cab drivers, but the research is unclear on whether these figures are simply a result of the increased number of ridesharing drivers when compared to declining numbers for cab services.
With the rise of ridesharing apps, per vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased exponentially. Uber and Lyft disagree with studies finding a correlation between ridesharing and increased accidents and fatalities, with both claiming safety and the protection of everyone on the road is priority one. The research continues as caps on ridesharing are implemented, such as the one in New York City which requires both Uber and Lyft Drivers to earn minimum wage.
Demand For Ubers and Lyfts
As greater requirements are placed on Uber and Lyft, the leading rideshare companies, the demand for services continues to increase. At issue, is the fact that though demand continues to increase, both companies are reporting losses, though their combined worth is well into the billions. In order to meet demand, and make a profit, one of two scenarios must happen – consumers pay more, or drivers are paid less. Quite the conundrum, isn’t it? Whether passengers utilizing the services should expect to pay more, drivers should expect to earn lower wages, or fast-tracking autonomous cars which don’t require drivers, the ridesharing companies will surely find a way to make their business profitable.
When Miami hosted the Super Bowl in 2010, Uber and Lyft didn’t exist. With events leading to up to the game, such as celebrity parties, concerts, and tailgates, many people are most likely going to request Ubers or Lyfts all week to avoid driving under the influence. With a high demand for Ubers or Lyfts, expect traffic and an increase in fare.
If you plan on riding in an Uber or Lyft or are going to be an Uber or Lyft driver this week, it’s important you follow the rules around drop-off and pick-up zones around Miami. Read more about the rules for Uber or Lyfts in Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and the Hard Rock Stadium.
As always, remember to check the vehicle’s license plate, make, model, and the driver’s name before riding the Uber or Lyft.
What to Do if You Are Injured in an Uber/Lyft Accident
If you are like most people, you order ridesharing services without giving it much thought. But maybe you should give it some thought, a least a little, after all you are relying on your driver to get you safely to your destination. The truth is your driver is often following GPS directions as well as navigating the app in hopes of picking up other riders – it is ridesharing after all.
As mentioned, as the number of Uber and Lyft vehicles grow, the number of accidents rise as do injuries. Rideshare drivers may speed, hoping to finish fares quickly and increase their profits. So, what should you do, if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident?
First know this, Uber and Lyft provide insurance for their drivers. For drivers not using the app, their personal insurance covers incidents. But once the driver turns on the app, company coverage kicks in – $100,000 per accident, $50,000 in liability for bodily harm, and $25,000 for property damage. Then, once the driver is in route, company coverage goes to $1,000,000 for liability damages plus $1,000,000 for underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage and remains in play until all riders have left the vehicle.
That said, if you are injured in an Uber or Lyft incident:
- Seek medical treatment, even if you don’t feel hurt
- Take photos of the accident site and your injuries as well as a screenshot of your proof of purchase or confirmation
- Record any statements from other witnesses
With your information gathered, file a report with Lyft or Uber, and request a police report. Be sure you take any necessary actions promptly, well within the statute of limitations, particularly if you find need to file a personal injury lawsuit.