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Are Rideshares Really Safe?

Posted by Renée Yvonne Gardner | Jan 29, 2022

Do Uber And Lyft Screen Rideshare Drivers?

Being a rideshare driver for Uber or Lyft is more than putting a rideshare sign in a car window.

Drivers must be a certain age, pass a background check and have an acceptable driving record.

Both Uber and Lyft have been sued for their “negligent hiring” practices.

This may be why they now say they're serious about rideshare driver requirements.

A bad background or driving record disqualifies a potential rideshare driver, but this screening still might not make your driver safe. 

Why Isn't Screening Enough To Ensure Rideshare Safety?

In spite of Uber and Lyft's efforts to screen rideshare drivers, their own apps can cause distraction and dangerous car accidents.

When an Uber driver gets pinged on their cell phone with a new ride request, they have a few seconds to read the message, with the new pickup location, and a few more seconds to decide whether to accept it. 

Why so fast? Because unaccepted requests disappear just seconds after they appear.

How Do Rideshare Apps Distract Their Drivers? 

Drivers in the middle of a ride receive a “driver alert” (Lyft) or "ping" (Uber) about someone else who needs a ride.

The driver has two choices:

• Ignore the alert and lose the ride, and that income, or

• Read the alert, and respond to the app, risking the dangers of distracted driving.

This can result in a serious personal injury accidents when rideshare drivers frequently hear, look at and check their phone, with only seconds to respond to a new ride request.

Rideshare drivers also risk getting suspended from Uber or Lyft for failing to respond to these distracting alerts.

Can't Rideshare Drivers Just Multi-Task By Driving While Checking Their App?

"Multi-tasking" is doing more than one thing at any given time.

When it comes to multi-tasking, the American Psychological Association (APA) says when people who do more than one task at a time, neither of those two tasks receive the full attention of the person.

What Makes Multi-Tasking Rideshare Drivers So Dangerous?

The APA explains the danger of multi-tasking behind the wheel:

"[L]osing just a half second of time to task switching can make a life-or-death difference for a driver on a cell phone traveling at 30 MPH. (emphasis added)

During the time the driver is not totally focused on driving the car, it can travel far enough to crash into an obstacle that might otherwise have been avoided.”

Looking at the app requires taking eyes off the road. This inattention can cause a crash.

So, even though Uber and Lyft "screen" their rideshare drivers, the very act of checking the Uber or Lyft app, while driving, can cause traffic accidents, resulting in serious personal injury or death to those inside and outside of Uber or Lyft rideshares. 


If a rideshare driver crashed and you got hurt, or your loved one died as a result of a rideshare driver crash, please call me today at 408-214-5555 or message me through my Contact form.

I am Renée Yvonne Gardner, a personal injury attorney.

For 16 years, I've been the voice of people injured and killed in traffic wrecks. I'm here to see your case through, fighting for you every step of the way. The first consultation is free, and you will consult directly with me.

About the Author

Renée Yvonne Gardner

Gardner Law's attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner represents auto accident wrongful death cases, serious personal injuries from auto accidents, slip and falls and dog bites, and assists consumers with disputes (small claims court assistance $12,500 or less claims for goods or services).

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