Distracted delivery drivers can post a serious threat to other Fresno drivers on the road. If you have been injured in an accident involving a rideshare company, contact us today to discuss your options for filing a claim.
Fresno Delivery Driver Hazards on the Roads
Drivers for companies like Doordash and Uber can be called upon at any hour of the day. They have an unlimited customer base, and that means they could see a lunch, dinner, or midnight-snack rush at any moment. These drivers may be behind the wheel as they juggle a dozen orders all while navigating traffic on the curves of Highway 41 or across a busy Bullard Avenue.
Rideshare and Delivery drivers may be the most distracted motorists of all as they monitor new requests and attempt to locate unfamiliar addresses. A cell phone is a primary tool for their work and a glance down at any time on the road can turn their vehicles into dangerous obstacles for any other driver on the road. A careless rideshare driver may be veering directly into your path and you might not catch it. Before you know it you may find yourself the victim of a scary collision.
Rideshare Driver Accidents in Fresno
If you ask the transportation companies, they’ll tell you that the risk from their drivers is very low. TechCrunch looked at Uber’s own accident report and found low collision numbers but also found some possible omissions.
By Uber’s count, their drivers were involved in a tragic 97 fatal crashes between 2017 and 2018. That equates to around half the normal rate of deadly accidents for normal drivers. But the numbers may be skewed. Uber works hard to keep its drivers as contract workers. That means employees often rely on their own insurance policies when they cause accidents. Police officers on the scene may not even know a driver is working for Uber. In this way, Uber’s name stays off of many accident reports and those accidents don’t get counted up.
That can be a big problem when you’re the victim of an accident caused by a delivery driver. Who is responsible? Do these companies offer accident insurance, or do they leave their drivers and their victims out in the cold?
Delivery Driver Common Distractions
A rideshare driver’s headquarters is wherever his or her car may be. Imagine trying to do your job while also speeding down the highway at 75 mph. Distracted drivers make any journey riskier for every other motorist.
That distraction for delivery drivers can include the use of their cellphones while operating their vehicles. The Office of Traffic Safety in California found that using a phone to dial, talk or text triples the risk of getting into a collision. Holding a phone is illegal in our state, even at a traffic light, but the nature of a delivery driver’s job assures at least some distraction from a phone, if not a major cause of inattention.
Here are a few of the extra distractions and problems these drivers deal with:
- Working for multiple companies at once. Drivers, understandably, hope to get more customers to make more money so they monitor several rideshare and delivery apps simultaneously. It all adds up for more orders and more distractions.
- Cruising while waiting on customers. A driver may not have an order or a ride request, but often they’ll circle in high volume areas of town. One potential risk with this practice is that if they cause an accident while technically off-the-clock, their companies may not cover a victim’s injuries in these cases.
- Driver fatigue or exhaustion. Drivers may not be getting enough sleep or they may have worked too many hours in a row. We’ve all powered through a long day when we didn’t sleep well, but a professional driver is on the road and a potential threat to everyone else.
- Speeding – Making sure a meal doesn’t go cold, or groceries don’t melt can be temptations to speed. A rideshare driver wants to get riders to their destinations on time and may have to speed to get a good rating.
Fresno Rideshare Accident Risks
As mentioned above, rideshare companies like to keep their drivers designated as contract workers. One reason is they can avoid liability in some accidents. Rideshare companies require their drivers to carry their own car insurance and the employers hope accidents will be taken care of by this insurance.
Often, if an insurance agent finds out that a policyholder was working for a rideshare service at the time of an accident, they will reject the claim. In these cases, the rideshare company may be responsible for some of your damages.
Both Uber and Lyft carry coverage of one million dollars in case their drivers are involved in collisions. The thing to remember is this coverage may be less or may provide nothing at all to victims if the driver was not logged into the rideshare app and working. Certain periods of the driver’s shift also result in different coverage.
Talk to a local attorney to help determine who can be held accountable in rideshare accidents in each particular instance. You can also find more detailed information on individual companies below:
Fresno Food Delivery Accident Coverage
Like rideshares, an accident with a food delivery driver will usually go through the driver’s policy. Unlike Uber and Lyft, most food delivery companies don’t offer any additional insurance coverage for their employees. The companies will escape liability unless it can be proven they have unsafe hiring or training practices, or perhaps they encourage unsafe practices for their employees.
If the driver’s insurance denies the claim and the parent company doesn’t offer coverage you may be stuck filing against your own insurance. This would be part of your uninsured/underinsured coverage.
Even though you are working with your own agency, you may still need an attorney on your side to get fair compensation. Unfortunately, your insurance agent will often treat you like an enemy and try to get you to accept a lowball offer. An attorney can make sure they take your injuries and your claim seriously.
Here is some more detailed information on the policies of some of the major delivery companies:
Micromobility Accidents in Fresno
Micromobility is a term for the many alternative means of transportation used around Fresno. It’s a word used to describe regular and electric bikes, scooters and skateboards, and many other modern machines.
These are creative and efficient ways to travel Central Valley but they can also make riders a target. The dangers arise when people must interact with car and SUV traffic.
If you get hit, the driver’s insurance policy should cover costs like medical bills and lost paychecks from the victim’s job. An attorney can also help you demand more to make sure you have money for any medical care and rehabilitation required in the future. An attorney can also work to earn you compensation for your emotional pain and suffering.
Here are some important details you’ll need to know if you do use a micromobility rideshare and are ever in an accident: