ClickCease Accidents in Rideshares: Is Uber or Lyft Safer?

Accidents in Rideshares: Is Uber or Lyft Safer?

Is Riding in a Rideshare Car Safe?

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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Company Information

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.

Uber and Lyft Accident Statistics

Data for non-fatal accidents involving Uber and Lyft remains undisclosed, as these companies do not publicly share all accident statistics.

Rideshare Fatality Data

Uber and Lyft Safety Comparison InfographicUber 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.

A Rise in Traffic Fatalities in US Cities with Rideshare Services

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.

Other Factors that Contribute to Rider Safety

Both Uber and Lyft have similar policies about other factors that contribute to their riders’ safety.

The Driver’s Competence and Experience

Both Uber and Lyft potential drivers must be 25 years old and have licensed driving experience over 1 year.

The Vehicle’s Condition

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.

Adherence to Traffic Rules

Both services require drivers to maintain a clean driving record obeying speed limits and traffic signs.

What Role Does the Passenger Play in Rideshare Safety?

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.

How Do Uber and Lyft Select Their Drivers?

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.

Uber and Lyft Driver Vetting

To further compare these two rideshare services, let’s delve deeper into the vetting process for Uber and Lyft drivers. Both services:

  • Include initial driving and criminal record checks for potential new drivers using third-party services.
  • Require annual driving and criminal record checks with continuous monitoring.
  • Hire drivers as young as 25 years of age with only 1 year of licensed driving experience.
  • Do not mandate drug testing for new drivers.
  • Could hire drivers with a felony conviction that happened only eight years ago.
  • Do not require specialized driver training or testing like that required for Washington, DC taxi drivers.

What Are the App Safety Features in Uber and Lyft?

The Lyft and Uber safety features in the apps include:

  • GPS Tracking: Uber and Lyft both use GPS tracking to monitor rides in real-time, enhancing safety and transparency.
  • Emergency Button/ 911 in App: Both platforms have an in-app emergency button to contact local law enforcement and emergency services instantly if they feel unsafe.
  • Share Route: This feature allows riders to share their trip details with friends or family.
  • RideCheck and Smart Trip Check In: RideCheck with Uber and Smart Trip Check-In with Lyft detect trip irregularities and checks on the rider’s and driver’s safety.
  • Trusted Contact: Trusted contacts can be set up in both apps to easily share ride info.
  • Driver ID: Available in both Uber and Lyft, displays the driver’s verified identity.

How Common Are Sexual Assault Complaints Against Rideshares?

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.

Is Uber or Lyft Safer?

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.

How Can I Be Safe When Riding with Uber or Lyft?

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:

  • Verify the driver’s identity and car details including license plate number before boarding.
  • Always ride in the back seat and keep personal details private.
  • Use the in-app safety features such as sharing your ride with trusted contacts.
  • Never ride while incapacitated by drugs or alcohol.
  • Always wear your seatbelt.

Get Help If You Are Injured in a Rideshare

If you were injured in an Uber or hurt in a Lyft, Regan Zambri Long PLLC is here to help. Contact our rideshare accident attorneys today for a free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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