A trip into downtown Spokane or up South Hill may be on your schedule for the day. If you don’t have a car, or even if you do, the convenience of catching a ride with Lyft may be the best option. The price is right on these rideshares that let hundreds of people enjoy being chauffeured each day.
However, the drawbacks to all of these pick-ups and drop-offs might be noticed by other drivers on the road. These rideshares only add to the traffic on local streets and sometimes those Lyft employees can be paying attention to the company app more than the road in front of them.
Lyft Drivers and Distracted Driving Dangers
Lyft drivers are at work behind the wheel and no matter how careful they are at some point they can be distracted by their jobs. It’s human nature to falter when trying to do too many things at once.
Distracted driving is an undeniable danger on Washington Roads every year. The State Traffic Safety Commission reports that over three years from 2015-2017 distracted driving was a factor in almost 30% of all fatal accidents.
When you think about everything a rideshare worker deals with during a shift on the road, it’s obvious they’d be some of the most inattentive motorists out there.
Here are just some of the distractions and challenges they face:
- Behind the wheel too long – Lyft and Uber require drivers take a six-hour break after working 12 hours. So it’s a given that some drivers are going to be exhausted and/or sleepy behind the wheel. It all leads to less attention to motorists around them.
- Working for multiple rideshares at once – Adding to the drowsy driving issue. Many people drive for two or more companies at the same time. There are apps designed to let drivers quickly switch back and forth between rideshare apps to find more customers.
- Cruising or “deadheading” — Lyft drivers often pass the time between riders by cruising local hotspots so they are closer to potential ride requests. It means more traffic traveling the same routes over and over again.
- Distracting Customers – Riders may have special instructions or try to engage with the driver causing a distraction.
- Speeding – Making sure a passenger is picked up on time or dropped off on time. These pressures lead to mistakes in the lanes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I do if I’m in an accident with a Lyft car?
Deal with any injuries first. Your health and safety are the most important needs at the moment. Call 911. Then, try to document and collect evidence on the scene. Give a full report to police officers. Take photos of the scene, street signs, and damage. Try to tell the story of how the accident took place in images. Get information from the Lyft driver and document any work identification they have. Get contact information from any witnesses. Also, see your personal doctor and get all injuries documented. Do not make statements about the accident to the driver or anyone representing Lyft who might call you.
Does Lyft provide insurance for its drivers?
Lyft Drivers must have their own personal auto insurance policy, but this policy will generally only apply to an accident that happens when the worker is off the clock (not logged into the Lyft app). Lyft provides coverage for logged-in drivers in certain situations. If a driver is logged into the Lyft App but doesn’t have a customer request a $100,000 total injury liability per accident, and $25,000 property damage liability is provided. If a driver has accepted a ride request or has picked up the customer Lyft’s policy offers one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /under-insured motorist coverage. This level of coverage ends when the rider is dropped off.
Can Lyft be held liable in an accident?
Lyft’s insurance policy can be targeted for compensation if its drivers are logged-in and working when they cause an accident. An attorney working for you can also look into driver records and Lyft records to see if there were mistakes made. Does the driver have a clean driving record? Did Lyft perform a proper background check on the driver? Did Lyft make sure the vehicle in use was safe and properly maintained? These are some of the factors that can help build a strong case.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in an accident caused by a Lyft driver, you may be forced to file a civil lawsuit. This claim for damages may be the only way to ensure you get enough compensation to cover expenses like medical bills and your lost paychecks from missing work. A local attorney who has dealt with large corporations and their lawyers before can help make sure your future is protected.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is committed to providing our clients with the absolute highest quality legal representation. If our Spokane Rideshare Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, you have our assurance that we will use our absolute best efforts to win your case. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free, confidential consultation and case evaluation. We will only offer you advice which is in your best interest.