Uber got its start right here in San Francisco and the rideshare company has gone on to be a nationwide success. It’s also an easy and economical way to get across the Bay Area all with the tap of an app.
But what if you are riding with or driving alongside an Uber driver who is swerving, speeding, and just driving dangerously? It may not be surprising considering how much distraction rideshare drivers deal with as they work from behind the wheel, but these reckless actions are a risk to passengers and everyone else on the road.
But should you report the driver? What happens to the driver if you do and does Uber even bother to get the problem corrected?
Spotting a Reckless Uber Driver on San Francisco Streets
Uber drivers usually strive to make a ride a pleasant experience. The Uber driver and passenger rating system generally keeps them working to do their best. They can get rated for the comfort of the ride, the cleanliness of the car, and punctuality. The possibility of a bad score is usually incentive enough to ensure that Uber employees practice safe driving and show caution for other motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists.
But sometimes Uber drivers get in a rush or just try to handle too many things at one time and it can lead to a frighting collision and injuries for Uber riders. The biggest factor in these cases is almost always distracted driving. Working from behind the wheel can lead to more inattention for a driver than any normal motorists.
The dangers of distracted driving are illustrated every day in accidents across California. The San Francisco Municipal Transporation Agency (SFMTA) reported that texting or using an app on your phone makes you 23 times more likely to swerve, screech, sideswipe, or even cause a crash.
Distraction is one of many potential reasons that an Uber driver may be traveling in a reckless manner:
- Using a Cellphone – The biggest distraction of all and a phone is a big part of any Uber driver’s workday. They can’t do their jobs without them.
- Disobeying Traffic Laws – Even with mapping guidance from phones, rideshare drivers can still miss a turn and need to make an illegal move to get back on course. They may be distracted and miss a stop sign or fail to stop at a red light.
- Speeding – The rush to get a passenger to their destination on time tempts drivers to stomp the gas pedal.
- Aggressive Driving – The feeling that their jobs are more important than other drivers’ safety can tempt an Uber employee to cut others off, speed through lanes, or take out their anger over a hard-to-please passenger on other motorists.
- Asleep at the wheel – Rideshare drivers may be spending too much time behind the wheel or not getting enough sleep. You may see an Uber driver drifting through the lanes.
If you are in the Uber vehicle with an unsafe driver, you have the right to end your ride. It’s best to get out of that car and far away from the driver. Finding another ride will be much easier than dealing with a potential car collision caused by a careless Uber employee.
How do You Report an Unsafe Uber Driver?
Once you have hopefully removed yourself from a dangerous situation, it’s time to report this driver. First, consider if the driver was breaking traffic laws and endangering anyone else on the road. If this was the case, a call to law enforcement is your first move. You should find help identifying the driver and the car right there on your Uber app.
When you are settled, you can also report your experience to Uber. The company states on their app that they want safe rides for every customer, “Uber is committed to helping every experience feel safe, respectful, and positive. If you feel that your driver was driving in an unsafe manner during this trip, please let us know.”
You’ll sign in on the app or on the Uber website and file a report on the Trip Issues and Refunds page and under “my driver drove dangerously.” On that page, you choose the applicable trip and you’ll find ample room to type out what happened. Be as detailed as possible.
Uber will open an investigation into the driver and the trip and may reach out to you for further information.
If you observed an Uber driving being reckless on the street but weren’t a passenger you can report that issue to police and detail your story on the Uber Rider Support Page.
How Does Uber Handle Unsafe Drivers?
If Uber determines their driver was unsafe behind the wheel, he or she could be immediately deactivated. They could lose their right to drive for Uber.
A driver can be reactivated by Uber if they have an exceptional driving record and great ratings on the app. However, in most cases, the driver isn’t allowed to work for Uber again, especially if the driver violated company policy or if the passenger complaint raised major concerns.
Support for Rideshare Accident Victims in San Francisco
If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident caused by a rideshare driver you’ll want a personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected. Rideshare companies like Uber will have dozens of lawyers working for them, all trying to diminish your case or throw it out entirely.
Our attorneys are here to help support you through recovery and make sure you don’t get stuck with the cost of your medical expenses in an accident that wasn’t your fault. We can work to build your case and handle communication with insurance companies and lawyers, so you can focus on healing. To learn more about filing a legal claim against Uber, contact our office today.