At Regan Zambri Long, our rideshare accident lawyers understand just how dangerous getting in an Uber or Lyft vehicle in Washington, DC can be. To help you better decide which rideshare service to use, we’ve created this visual comparison to help answer the question “Which is safest, Uber or Lyft?”
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Both Uber and Lyft drivers provide millions of rides daily, offering a robust alternative to traditional taxi services. Uber, launched in 2009, currently has over 1 million US Uber drivers. It is globally known and operates in numerous countries. Lyft, founded in 2012, is primarily active in the United States with 700,000 Lyft drivers.
Data for non-fatal accidents involving Uber and Lyft remains undisclosed, as these companies do not publicly share all accident statistics.
Uber released safety reports in 2019 and 2021, revealing that there were 208 fatalities in Uber-related accidents in the US in 2017–2020. The Uber-related motor vehicle fatality rate for 2017 was 0.59 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. It was 0.57 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled in 2018.
Lyft’s safety report from 2021 showed 105 fatalities from 2017–2019. The Lyft-related motor vehicle fatality rate for 2017 was .78 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. It was .72 in 2018; and .79 in 2019.
When comparing these numbers, Lyft reported fewer yearly fatalities than Uber, but Uber had a lower fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled. As a comparison, according to 2021 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the fatality rate in DC was 1.26 deaths per 100 million miles traveled and 1.37 deaths per million miles traveled in the United States.
According to a Study by the University of Chicago and Rice University, cities where Uber and Lyft operate have seen a roughly 3% increase in traffic-related fatalities including pedestrians each year since their introduction. Still, without direct comparative data between the two, it’s challenging to definitively state which service is safer based on this data point.
Both Uber and Lyft have similar policies about other factors that contribute to their riders’ safety.
Both Uber and Lyft potential drivers must be 25 years old and have licensed driving experience over 1 year.
The vehicle should undergo regular vehicle maintenance and possess adequate safety features. Both rideshare services require their independent contractors to drive a late model car accommodating four or more passengers with seat belts.
Both services require drivers to maintain a clean driving record obeying speed limits and traffic signs.
Both services acknowledge that passengers also have a role in ensuring their safety and encourage riders to wear seat belts and avoid distracting the driver. Both companies required mask wearing of both drivers and passengers during the pandemic.
Uber’s Selection Criteria: Candidates must possess a valid driver’s license, an eligible vehicle that meets Uber’s standards, and pass a background check, which probes for any criminal history and serious traffic violations.
Lyft’s Selection Criteria: To become a Lyft driver, applicants must hold a valid driver’s license and own a car that meets Lyft’s age and condition requirements. They must also have a clean driving record and successfully pass a background check.
To further compare these two rideshare services, let’s delve deeper into the vetting process for Uber and Lyft drivers. Both services:
The Lyft and Uber safety features in the apps include:
In their 2019 Safety Report, Uber reported 5,981 sexual assaults in 2017 and 2018 from 2.3 billion trips. Released in 2021, the Community Safety Report from Lyft reports 2,351 sexual assaults in 2017 and 2018 from 975 million trips.
Following these reports, Uber and Lyft implemented added safety precautions including a discreet panic feature for passengers to notify the company and police during emergencies. Additionally, Uber launched the Industry Sharing Safety Program, enabling rideshare companies to exchange information on drivers involved in harassment, sexual assault, or sexual offenses.
Both Uber and Lyft have similar fatality rates which are better than the population as a whole. They also have similar passenger safety policies and app features. Based on this comparison, rideshare safety primarily depends on the individual Uber driver or Lyft driver rather than on the safety records of the companies themselves. It is important for riders to keep this in mind and be sure to utilize these safety tips.
Here are some safety measures you can take to assuage your safety concerns and ensure a safe and pleasant journey with either an Uber or Lyft driver: