In 2010, getting around town started to change for many people when the ride share company Uber was launched in the United States. Uber is a smart phone app that connects people who need a ride with people who are available to offer one. Uber drivers work as independent contractors, and they can choose to work or not as their schedule permits.
The Ups and Downs of Uber
Many people find Uber more convenient than calling a taxi, and it led researchers from Stonehill and Providence colleges to investigate whether there was a correlation between the availability of Uber and the reduction of traffic accidents, DUIs, and other crime.
In order to try and determine whether Uber should be considered an overall good thing the researchers analyzed various data in 150 cities where Uber services were available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as well as FBI data on crime statistics. Overall, the researchers discovered that since the launch of Uber, there has been a reduction in vehicular related fatalities of more than 16 percent each year. Their analysis of FBI data saw a varied affect on DUIs. Depending on the city, the drop ranged from 15-62 percent. Other crimes were down too, including disorderly conduct and assault. One crime was up, according to researchers; vehicle theft.
Whether you are using Uber as a passenger or a driver, your safety is a priority. Uber has a responsibility to screen those who participate in the service in order to assure that neither drivers nor passengers experience crimes against them, such as assault or theft, and that passengers are not put in danger because their driver has been drinking or is distracted while driving.
If you are involved in an accident that involves Uber or another ride share service, it is important to look into whether or not the ride share company should also share in the legal responsibility of compensating you for injuries you suffer. A qualified attorney can take a look at what happened in your specific case, and will be on your side as you fight to get help with various financial needs that may arise after an incident.