Ride-hailing and ride-sharing are a phenomenon that has taken the nation – and much of the modern world – by storm. If you’re not familiar with the concept, ride-hailing is essentially a modern version of the standard taxi, where you can use your phone to hail a ride. Ride-sharing is more of a paid carpool service; instead of a single-fare ride, you share the ride with other passengers.
Popular among all ages, ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft make it convenient to get from point A to point B without needing to worry all the hassles of owning, renting, leasing, and driving a vehicle yourself. Many people in large cities, such as Miami or New York, use ride-hailing services on a daily basis to get to and from work, but it is not uncommon to find drivers in smaller areas. All you have to do is download your app of choice, set up your account, and call your first ride.
But before you call yours, let’s take a look at the statistics of popular ride-hailing service Uber and assess the potential problems of being a passenger in an Uber car accident so you can decide when to file a car accident lawsuit.
As of April 2019, Uber provides an average of 40 million rides per month in the United States alone. On any given day, Uber drivers complete 15 million rides around the world. To keep up with their ever-increasing demand for vehicles, the popular ride-hailing company hires around 50,000 drivers each month. They currently employ over 3 million drivers, 327,000 of whom live and work in the U.S.
Floridians are no strangers to Uber. 1 out of every 4 Uber users in Florida rely on an Uber for their daily commute to work. Since 25% of Florida Uber users are getting into an Uber on a near-daily basis, we must consider the requirements Uber has in place for its drivers to keep passengers safe.
To drive for Uber in Florida, the authorized driver must:
However, Uber does not require drivers to pass a drug test at any time or to carry commercial insurance. On the bright side, Florida requires all drivers to carry no-fault insurance, which may cover you if you are injured as a passenger in an Uber accident.
Uber only requires drivers to have the minimum insurance policy required by their state. If your driver has only the minimum auto insurance coverage required by the state of Florida, you may be at serious financial risk if you are injured in an Uber car accident.
According to the University of Chicago, the increased use of ride-hailing and ride-sharing apps in the U.S. has resulted in a 2-3% increase of traffic related deaths since 2011. One reason for the increase of deaths is that Uber drivers increase congestion on the roads through a process called deadheading – spending 30-60% of their time driving around waiting for their next paying client.
Yes and no. Providing your driver officially accepted your request on the app, you should be covered by Uber’s million dollar damage liability coverage. However, if your driver did not officially accept your ride request before the accident, Uber’s damage liability coverage will not exceed $500,000. Additionally, if your driver was not logged in to Uber’s app at the time of your ride, Uber will not cover the drive, and the driver’s personal policy will likely deny the accident claim because they were driving commercially at the time of the accident.
What’s more, residents and visitors of the Sunshine State trying to recover losses related to an Uber car accident will face additional difficulties. Florida has specific laws which state that drivers are independent contractors, which means ride-hailing companies like Uber are not liable for accidents, injuries, or fatalities caused by their drivers.
Some insurance companies now offer ride-hailing add-on coverage to a pre-existing policy to help cover potential gaps. Geico, Progressive, and State Farm are currently the only auto insurance companies that offer the add-on coverage in Florida, but neither Uber’s driver requirements nor Florida laws require drivers to purchase it.