Who's driving your Lyft and Uber rides?
Uber and Lyft have been described as two of the most lucrative and prominent ride hailing companies to exists in the United States over recent years. The ease of booking a ride to your destination with one touch of your Smartphone, coupled with competitive costs that has resulted in a decline of taxi use, has allowed these companies to profit tremendously and their popularity to soar. The issue of public safety has begun to create a nationwide buzz and those asserting the dismay are concerned that the screening process utilized for drivers is less than adequate to say the least. Political leaders suggest that the screening process of the tens of thousands of drivers that are employed by Uber and Lyft, have simply “slipped through the cracks.”

Lyft declares that their screening process usually varies depending upon the individual, but the average processing time is about 10 to 14 days. The screening process consists of a driving record check, criminal history background check, and employment history verification. Lyft has a unique process because they have implemented a “Mentoring” program that allows new drivers to engage in an apprentice-like experience before actually accepting ride appointments. Before participating in the program, about one hour prior to meeting your mentor, your driving record is entered into a system that will automatically let the company whether you are qualified to drive or not. Lyft prides themselves in providing a quick turnaround for the hiring process and some applicants have even been able to accept appointments within two days! Lyft urges applicants to contact them if they have not heard a response in 3 to 4 weeks.

Uber suggests that their employee screening process is surefire due to the use of social security verification. With this information, Uber is able to determine all addresses associated with the social security number, which as a result allows Uber to compare and search criminal records that exists within the past seven years. Uber gains access to the National Sex Offender Registry and databases that flag terrorists. Uber suggests that they are detailed and thorough in their investigation, so much so, that if criminal activity is flagged the record is pulled in person or via the internet.

Insurance Coverage With Lyft and Uber
Have you ever taken a ride with Uber and Lyft? From the booking, to the pick-up, to the drop-off, effortless right? Chances are you probably haven’t thought of getting in an accident and in the event that this did happen, whose insurer would carry the costs? Another key point to mention is that those who are employed with these ride-hailing companies are limited in their coverage as well. As you know personal vehicles are used and any damage suffered to your personal car is attributed to your personal insurance. Further, in the event that you are involved in an accident with another vehicle, liability insurance and not collision exists.

Many states are looking to reform the insurance regulations that are mandated for ride-hailing companies due to the influx in vehicular accidents, one specifically was the death of the six year old San Francisco girl who was hit by an Uber driver on New Year’s Eve of 2013. This accident made headlines because of Uber’s refusal to pay out on their $1 million insurance policy. Their refusal was justified because the driver was not on the way to, from, or transporting a client.

The State of Georgia recently passed House Bill 190, which will place more strict requirements on ride-hailing companies regarding insurance. Lawmakers have great concerns that Uber and Lyft have been able to benefit as a commercial entity, but they have not been held to commercial standards. If you take a close look at the agreement or also noted as “Terms of Agreement,” those utilizing this service are in a way indemnifying Uber and Lyft of all responsibility. House Bill 190, introduced by Rich Golick, will not only allocate protect to drivers and passengers, but it will require that Uber/Lyft register with the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Before the introduction of the new law, Uber/Lyft were not required to cover their drivers under their insurance and dropping coverage would not cause a violation of state law, not it carries a very high, costly penalty. To date, there are about 5,000 Uber drivers who currently serve the state of Georgia.

truck regulations prevent accidents
Those who operate commercial vehicles are governed by a completely different set of regulations than those who carry a regular Driver’s License. As intimidating as commercial vehicles might be, they are a necessity in today’s growing society. They transport produce, haul gravel and asphalt, and even are responsible for delivering packages and other vehicles. The list goes on and on when discussing the ways in which commercial vehicles are utilized. As you drive along the highway you find yourself in between two large commercial tractor trailers, scary, right? You wonder whether they see you switching lanes or whether they see you at all. Something else to think about is whether the driver has slept for an adequate amount of time. Not a normal question to ask a fellow motorist, right? As uncommon as that inquiry may be, it is very relevant and important when it has been reported that out of the 4,000 individuals that died in large truck crashes, 13 percent of the drivers involved were fatigued.

Fatigued Driving

Fatigued driving is defined as operation of a motor vehicle while you are tired and/or sleepy. Driving while you are in a state of exhaustion has the potential to bring about serious injury. Driving while you are fatigued increases the chance that your driving skills are impaired. Due to irritability you may begin driving erratically, reaction time may be weakened, or your judgment may become affected. It is best to get adequate rest when in operation of a vehicle because an exhausted driver is as dangerous as an intoxicated one.

Uber and Lyft Liability in Car Sharing Accidents
Real-time ridesharing is a service that provides transportation at a short notice. This service requires GPS navigation capability, a Smartphone, and access to one’s debit card. The major difference between real-time ridesharing services and ordinary taxicab services is the employee/employer relationship. If a passenger were to be involved in an accident the liability would be attributed to the taxicab company under the theory of vicarious liability. Conversely, a passenger using a ridesharing service will be limited in collecting only from the driver due to his role as an independent contractor.

Uber, a new traveling craze that has become popular in the most recent years, provides convenience and efficiency to its customers. Customers have the ability to not only request a ride, but they are able to pay for the ride via their Smartphone. Uber drivers use their own vehicle to transport passengers. One might say that Uber is a “go-between” or 3rd party whom offers a service. Uber has received criticisms in regard to their screening process and failure to properly train their drivers. Additionally, issues of liability is accidents have arisen.

Lyft, a competitor of Uber, is privately-owned and offers the identical service of peer-to-peer ridesharing. The major difference between the service providers is the fact that Uber exists in more major cities than the smaller company, Lyft.

truck crash avoidance technology
Have you ever heard the saying “Share the Road.” Usually this is interpreted as an urge for motorists to be considerate to those traveling the roads alongside them. The types of vehicles that should be given much consideration are those that have the potential to bring about much damage, such as, tractor trailers, buses, and dump trucks. Have you ever driven beside an 18-wheeler and you are not sure whether they see you and you quickly accelerate? What about the instances when that same type of truck is tailing you on the freeway? Doesn’t that make you the least bit nervous?

Recently, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration petitioned to implement an innovative type of software that would be installed automatically in all new commercial vehicles that weigh 10,000 pounds or more. F-CAMs or forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems are equipped with the technology that will notify the driver when they are in close proximity of becoming involved in an accident. The system will allow sufficient time for the driver to brake on their own. However, in the event the driver fails to do so the system will activate a “follow-up” system, a Collision Mitigation Braking System or CMB that will take over operation of the entire vehicle and begin minimizing speed on its own. Advocates suggest that this mandate will significantly decrease the rate of death and injury involving large commercial vehicles. According to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 691 large truck occupants were killed in 2013. While 2,834 other vehicle occupants were killed in accidents involving large trucks that same year. Although the technology is not able to prevent all accidents involving large trucks, they will mitigate the most common type which are vehicles that are rear-ended by these large trucks. F-CAM software is offered by most commercial dealers at an option. Advocates believe this mandate will ensure greater public safety and fewer fatalities. Out of the 3 million commercial vehicles on the road, it has been reported that only 3 percent of them are utilizing F-CAMS.

The new safety precautions will be welcomed in the State of Georgia, where the state ranks in the top five for area where the fatality rate involving commercial trucks is at its highest. In 2014, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported 16,000 injuries and 157 deaths. In effort to combat the growing problem, Gov. Nathan Deal made the announcement that extra law enforcement will be appointed to police areas that have been described as “high crash corridors.” These areas exist near and around both Interstate 16 and 95.

texting and driving bans effect on car accidents
We all have the impulse to do something extra while in operation of a motor vehicle. Whether it is chatting on the cellphone, changing the radio station, eating, and the most infamous activity, texting, as you look to your left and right there is a high likelihood that your neighboring motorist is doing one of the four. These activities are as common as using a signal light, but they are the most dangerous acts you can engage in while driving. Specifically talking and/or texting on your cellular device, which diminishes your ability to stay alert, while leading to cognitive strain that lessens your concentration on the most important part of driving, FOCUSING ON THE ROAD IN FRONT OF YOU! Many states have proposed new laws that will ban texting/talking on handheld devices while driving. The belief is that stricter guidelines concerning the matter, such as bans, will deter those who text/talk while driving. However, it has been reported that in four states where the bans took effect accidents increased compared to those states who did not implement a ban. The likely reason is because humans are creatures of habit and with the dependency on cell phones and other gadgets, those motorists will continue to use them by doing so in a concealed effort. The attempt to hide the use increases danger because now the driver not only has to focus on the road, but they must look out for law enforcement, and “hit the like button on Facebook.”

The State of Georgia proposed texting/talking bans back in 2010 after studies conducted from previous years showed that 80 percent of the crashes and accidents were a result of inattentiveness or distracted driving. A study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) determined that those who regularly engage in the act of texting or talking on cellphones while driving increase their likelihood of being involved in an accident.

THE NUMBERS:

Distracted driving car accident
Your dog is jumping from window to window, not to mention in your lap. You are applying lipstick, lip liner, and mascara. You phone is ringing continuously. You want to hear a different song, where is that auxiliary chord?  Your hands need lotion, look at those nails. All of the above are common activities that take place while one is in operation of a motor vehicle! On your commute to work, quickly glance around at the people driving around you, what are they doing?

The majority of them are looking elsewhere but for some mysterious reason the traffic moves along In 2013, 3,154 individuals were killed in distracted driving crashes. The CDC or Center for Disease Control defines distracted driving as driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. Driving while distracted can be equated to driving while under the influence . Your reaction time is possibly diminished, your focus is not on the road, and keep in mind that a collision can take place within seconds. Distractions are created, whether they be large or small, they can be deadly.

Much importance isn’t placed on the age of the individual, due to wide-usage of cellular phones and GPS devices. It make you wonder, how did people find their way around before that phenomenon. Easy answer, they would pull over and reference a map, brilliant right? With the sophistication of technology, getting around has not only become easier, but more dangerous.

Hiring A Car Wreck Attorney In Atlanta
85 South is congested and an absolute nuisance the majority of the day, especially during the workweek as one travels throughout the overpopulated city of Atlanta. But just as any other city, from the hours of 4pm-5pm, this very highway is crammed and traffic is bumper-to-bumper. You are leaving your place of employment, just off of Peachtree Road and you enter the highway. You are nearly hit by an oncoming 18-wheeler, still frazzled from the “almost accident” you cautiously continue your commute. As you merge into the inner lane, you are hit. Not with too much force, but enough that you and the other motorist disengage to check out the damage. As soon as you exit your vehicle you hear, “Are you alright?” “I’m so sorry, I didn’t even see you!” Before you have an opportunity to respond the other motorist is already inspecting your bumper and offering to cover the expenses. Music to your ears, right? The following day you receive a call from the other motorists’ adjuster. You are berated with questions and by the end of the day, after several calls, you begin to think that the accident might have been your fault.

There are several points that one must consider after an accident:

  • Personal Injury

Do Speed limits prevent car accidents
Every roadway in the United States has speed limit signs posted. The majority of American drivers do not abide by posted speed limits. We all have the need for a little speed! Even the law provides for a small violation, naturally a police officer would not stop you if you are traveling 5-7 miles over the posted maximum speed. If there was a strict adherence to these laws, it is very likely that we would have to employ more law enforcement and court dockets would be clogged as a result.

In 2013, 33,719 people died in car accidents and 2.3 million were injured, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Law enforcement agencies report that several of these incidents were attributed to speeding. With such stark statistics it leads one to inquire, “Are speed limit signs a true deterrent for speeding?” According to the Federal Highway Administration, speeding guidelines are determined by the average speed of individuals driving safely in that area. What if you live in an area where people tend to drive more aggressively, such as New York? Or in an area heavily populated with seniors and retirees, such as Boca Raton, FL. Therefore, a particular speed limit is based upon the nature and habit of the motorists who reside in the area.

The interesting fact here is that the limits are not suggested by the number of crashes, or the rate of stops done by law enforcement, but how people naturally operate their vehicle. As a result of the studies conducted rational/maximum speed limits result. A rational speed would be defined as a reasonable and prudent speed that is suitable for standard traffic, weather and roadway conditions. A prudent driver would not drive at an excessive speed within a city limit due to the existence of pedestrians rational speed limit and traffic lights. It is likely that the speed within a city would range from 25-45 miles per hour, rather than 60-75 miles per hour which you would find on an expressway. Traffic engineers believe that 85 percent of motorists are cautious and they are careful when operating their vehicles because they want to avoid crashes at all cost. Thus, traffic engineers have coined the term 85th Percentile Speed which is the speed that 85 percent of vehicles generally do not exceed.  This would mean that 15 percent of the other motorists on the road usually exceed the posted limit.

Construction Zone Car Accidents
Improvement of our nation’s highways is great need. Additional expressways ease travel for motorists in the area. Repair of potholes or eroded road shoulders will prevent wear and tear on our vehicles. Therefore, construction zones are welcomed and necessary; however they are a “hot spot” for car accidents. Most municipalities rather modify the flow of traffic rather than closing roads altogether which leads to greater issues.

There are grave dangers present that threaten the safety of not only motorists, but those construction workers present on site. Those who normally travel that area are used to a certain speed, traffic patterns, and traffic signs. When these aspects of travel abruptly change, there is a high likelihood that an accident will occur because there is usually minimal notification to motorists.  It is vital that all individuals present, workers and motorists, adhere to all safety precautions and most importantly, PAY ATTENTION.

Factors that Contribute to These Accidents:

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