What Are My Rights as an Uber Passenger?
Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft have been around for a decade now, taking the world by storm and becoming one of the most popular alternatives to driving your own vehicle. In 2018, Uber boasted 91 million active users a month, and this is projected to grow to 93 million this year.
As popular and as convenient as ordering a ride is, not many Uber passengers are aware that they have certain rights the moment that they sit in the vehicle. Your life is put in the hands of the Uber driver, a risk that has become less and less acknowledged as the service’s popularity has increased.
If your Uber driver gets in an accident, if you are harmed during the course of the drive, or if you feel generally uncomfortable with your service, there are legal precedents in place to help you. Uber also has several regulations in place in an effort to secure passenger safety and satisfaction.
We’ll discuss more specifically what rights you are entitled to as an Uber passenger below.
The Right to a Safe Driver
Unfortunately, not all drivers are made equal. Every driver has their own perspective of road rules and driving habits behind the wheel, but Uber does their best to thoroughly vet the ones operating under their name. All persons under contract with the company have to clear a background check and have a clean driving record. It’s required for Uber drivers to be at least 21 years of age and abide by all traffic laws.
As an Uber passenger, or any kind of passenger for that matter, you have the right to a sober driver, free from any kind of influence. Uber forbids drivers from consuming alcohol before or during shifts. Of course, drunk driving is also a crime punishable by hefty fines and jail time as well.
Always monitor your Uber driver for the first few minutes of your ride to gauge their sobriety, driving capability, and road safety. If you feel unsafe, cancel the ride and order a new one or contact someone to pick you up.
The Right to a Safe Car
All cars operating under an Uber contract must be less than 10 years old and registered with the company as safe to drive. Vehicles have to have four doors and be at least sedan size. Keeping cars under such specific monitoring can lessen the chances of vehicles on the road outside of recent safety regulations. If an accident were to occur and the car’s safety features are outdated, you run a higher risk of being injured.
Seatbelts are also a focus for the company. Every car must have functioning seatbelts for all Uber passengers for the entirety of the ride. Before your Uber driver takes off, check to see if your seatbelt is damaged, broken, or even present. If not, refuse service, cancel the ride, and order a new car.
The Right to Report an Unsafe Experience
Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of reporting an unsafe or uncomfortable ride. They will chalk it up to bad luck and just leave a bad review. In recent years, though, Uber has encouraged passengers to be aware of their updated rider safety policy and report their unsafe experiences.
There have been several accounts of Uber drivers being negligent with their passengers and even assaulting them. Legal action has been taken against the drivers and the company due to these unfortunate situations. Uber has responded with stricter rules for their drivers and a reinforced priority on rider safer.
If you ever feel unsafe, uncomfortable, or are in a car accident during an Uber ride, report the experience with as much detail as possible.
Passenger Safety Comes First
As an Uber passenger, your only real concern is getting to your destination safely, however knowing your rights as a rider helps protect you and creates better riding experiences. You’ll be able to determine which rides are worth taking and remove yourself from dangerous situations when necessary.
If you ever find need to take legal action against a negligent Uber service, whether past or future, Lowman Law Firm’s personal injury attorneys are equipped to represent your best interests.