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As Uber Accidents and Harassment Incidents in Colorado Increase, Passengers Wonder If Ridesharing Is Safe

Aug. 31, 2018

Ridesharing has grown extremely popular in recent years, and experts don’t expect that trend to end anytime soon. In fact, some experts expect this industry to grow to $285 billion by 2030. Any industry that experiences this much expansion is sure to have growing pains, and it’s important to think about whether or not this is truly a safe transportation option.

Passenger Trapped in Car in Denver

In one shocking incident, Denver law professor Nancy Leong found herself trapped in an Uber car on the way to the airport. After the driver picked Leong up at home, he diverted from his airport route and told her he was going to take her to a hotel. Leong got away by pounding on the windows and getting the attention of local construction workers. While the driver has been suspended from the Uber platform, the fact remains that he has Leong’s home address. Unfortunately, Leong is far from the first passenger to be put in danger by a ridesharing driver. In an incident that occurred in Denver back in 2016, an Uber driver dropped a passenger off at the airport, and then promptly returned to the customer’s home and attempted to break in.

Over $8.9 Million in Fines in Colorado

Of course, this isn’t the first major issue that has plagued Uber. In 2017, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission investigated both Uber and Lyft. While Lyft, one of Uber’s main competitors, did not have any violations, Uber had 57 drivers with previous criminal or motor vehicle offenses. Per the Public Utilities Commission, all of these drivers should have been disqualified. Violations ranged from DUI and reckless driving convictions to felonies, and some drivers were even operating with revoked or suspended licenses.

This obvious oversight put passengers all over the state at risk, and as a result, Uber was fined $8.9 million. While ridesharing drivers must undergo a private background check, taxi drivers must submit their fingerprints and undergo criminal background checks through the FBI and Colorado Bureau of Investigation. This disparity is one reason that many wonder about the safety of ridesharing in comparison to taxis and cabs.

Staying Safe While Ridesharing

Luckily, the state of Colorado has laws in place regarding ridesharing insurance. Companies are required to insurance for all periods of commercial activity, from when drivers turn on the app to when they pick up and drop off customers. Both Uber and Lyft provide drivers with commercial insurance policies that cover any property or bodily injury, providing extra assurance to customers who choose ridesharing options.

It’s still crucial for passengers to protect themselves, however. They should not continue a ride if they feel unsafe, and if an accident occurs, they should seek immediate medical attention. Documentation is crucial for any vehicle accident, especially when a victim is relying on an outside insurance company to cover related medical expenses.

It’s important to seek legal counsel immediately after an accident, since injuries and damages must be fully documented. A skilled ridesharing accident lawyer can contact witnesses, secure the necessary documentation, and negotiate with the commercial insurance provider on a passenger’s behalf.

Get the Help You Need After a Ridesharing Accident

A car accident can be mentally and physically traumatizing, which is why expert legal representation is essential. Let us work on your behalf. Call Kinnaird Law for a free case review.