In the age of convenience and ride-sharing, Uber has revolutionized how we travel and transport goods. With just a few taps on a smartphone, you can summon a ride and be on your way in minutes. While the vast majority of Uber trips are safe and uneventful, accidents can and do happen.
Understanding the common causes of Uber accidents is not only essential for passengers but for all road users. Whether you’re a passenger, a pedestrian, or another driver sharing the road, knowing the factors that contribute to Uber accidents can help you stay vigilant and make informed decisions while on the road.
Below, the Uber accident attorneys at Kherkher Garcia explore some of the most common causes of Uber accidents and delve into how you can protect yourself and your legal rights in this ever-evolving transportation landscape.
Uber Accident Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 184 fatal accidents involving ridesharing vehicles in the United States in 2021. Of these, 50 involved Uber vehicles. NHTSA data also shows that there were 16,677 non-fatal accidents involving ridesharing vehicles in 2021, of which 7,678 involved Uber vehicles.
It is important to note that these numbers do not reflect all Uber-related accidents, as they only include accidents that were reported to NHTSA. The actual number of Uber-related accidents is likely higher.
Common Causes of Uber Accidents
Accidents involving Uber drivers can occur for various reasons, similar to accidents involving any other vehicles. The common causes of accidents involving Uber vehicles include:
Uber drivers may become distracted by their smartphones or GPS devices, as they often rely on these devices for navigation and to manage ride requests and communication with passengers.
Speeding is a common cause of accidents for all drivers, including Uber drivers. Trying to reach a destination quickly can lead to unsafe driving practices.
Some Uber drivers work long hours to maximize their earnings, which can lead to driver fatigue. Fatigued drivers may have slower reaction times and impaired judgment.
Uber drivers, like all motorists, can be involved in accidents due to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Inadequate Vehicle Maintenance
Accidents can happen when an Uber driver’s vehicle is not properly maintained. This includes issues with brakes, tires, and other critical components.
Poor Weather Conditions
Weather-related accidents can occur when drivers, including Uber drivers, fail to adjust their driving to accommodate rain, snow, ice, or other adverse conditions.
Some Uber drivers may lack experience or may not be familiar with the area they are driving in, leading to errors in judgment or navigation.
Aggressive driving behaviors, such as tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic, and road rage, can lead to accidents involving Uber vehicles.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
Accidents can happen when Uber drivers fail to yield the right of way at intersections or when merging onto highways.
Running Red Lights or Stop Signs
Violating traffic signals and signs can result in collisions at intersections.
Unexpected mechanical failures, such as brake failures or tire blowouts, can lead to accidents involving Uber vehicles.
In some cases, passenger behavior can distract the driver or create a disruptive environment, potentially leading to accidents.
If you are ever involved in an accident as a passenger in an Uber or in another vehicle, it is important to follow the appropriate legal and reporting procedures. If you are injured in an Uber accident due to the negligence of someone else involved, then you may be entitled to compensation.
What Types of Injuries are Reported in Uber Accidents?
In accidents involving Uber vehicles, various types of injuries can be reported, ranging from minor to severe, and even fatal. The types of injuries can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident, the speed of the vehicles involved, the use of seatbelts, and other factors.
Common injuries reported in Uber accidents include:
- Whiplash Injuries: Whiplash is a common injury in rear-end collisions where the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward. It can result in neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.
- Soft Tissue Injuries: These injuries involve damage to muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can include strains, sprains, and contusions.
- Fractures: Accidents can cause bone fractures, ranging from minor hairline fractures to more severe breaks, depending on the force of the impact.
- Cuts and Bruises: Superficial injuries like cuts, abrasions, and bruises can result from contact with objects within the vehicle or from the deployment of airbags.
- Head Injuries: Head injuries can range from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). These injuries can have long-term consequences and may not always be immediately apparent.
- Back and Spinal Cord Injuries: Severe accidents can lead to back injuries, including damage to the spinal cord, which can result in paralysis or other long-term disabilities.
- Internal Injuries: Blunt force trauma can cause internal injuries to organs such as the liver, spleen, kidneys, or lungs, which may not be visible externally.
- Broken Bones: Accidents can lead to fractures in various bones, including arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis.
- Burns: If a vehicle catches fire or if there’s contact with hot surfaces, passengers or drivers may suffer burn injuries.
- Psychological Injuries: Being involved in a traumatic accident can result in psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or emotional distress.
- Fatal Injuries: Unfortunately, some Uber accidents can result in fatalities, leading to the loss of lives.
It is important to note that the severity of injuries can vary widely, and some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately after the accident. It is crucial for individuals involved in Uber accidents to seek immediate medical attention, even if they believe their injuries are minor, as some injuries may worsen over time.
What to Do after an Uber Accident
Individuals who are injured in Uber accidents may be entitled to compensation for their medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages through legal avenues such as insurance claims or personal injury lawsuits. Consulting with an attorney experienced in personal injury law is essential in understanding your rights and options.
If you are involved in an Uber accident, it is important to take the following steps to ensure your safety, gather necessary information, and protect your legal rights:
Check for Injuries
First and foremost, check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is seriously injured, call 911 or the emergency services in your area immediately.
If it is safe to do so, move your vehicle out of traffic to avoid further accidents. Turn on hazard lights to alert other drivers to the accident.
Contact Law Enforcement
Call the police or relevant law enforcement agency to report the accident, even if it appears to be a minor one. An official accident report can be essential for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Exchange information with all parties involved in the accident, including the Uber driver, passengers, and any other drivers or witnesses. Collect the following:
- Names, contact information, and insurance details of all parties involved.
- License plate numbers and vehicle descriptions.
- Uber driver’s name, driver’s license number, and Uber identification (if available).
- Contact information for any witnesses to the accident.
Document the Scene and Aftermath
Take photos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, street signs, and any relevant road conditions. Make notes about the accident, including the date, time, location, and a description of what happened. Keep all documentation related to the accident, including medical records, bills, receipts, and communication with Uber and insurance companies.
Report to Uber
Contact Uber through the app to report the accident. Uber has a process for handling accidents involving their drivers.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it is advisable to seek medical attention promptly. Some injuries may not manifest symptoms immediately, and medical documentation is essential for insurance claims and legal purposes.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your own insurance company about the accident, even if you were a passenger in the Uber vehicle. They can guide you on the next steps and help with any potential claims.
Consult an Attorney
If you sustained injuries, consider consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in handling Uber accident cases. They can help you understand your rights and guide you through the legal process.
Get Help with an Uber Accident Claim
Getting help with an Uber accident claim is crucial for ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve after an accident. These claims can be complex, involving multiple parties and insurance companies. Seeking legal assistance from an experienced personal injury attorney can make a significant difference.
At Kherkher Garcia, our Uber accident attorneys can navigate the intricate legal processes, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent your interests in court. With our expertise, you can focus on your recovery while we work to secure the best possible outcome for your claim.
Find out more by calling us at 713-333-1030 for a free consultation. You can also reach out to us online via our confidential online contact form.
Image by jcomp on Freepik.