COVID lockdowns are lifting all over the United States. This is a special relief for Southern Californians with our lockdowns being more extreme than most of the country. With more and more areas opening, we will see more people out and about, learning to live amongst strangers again. More and more cars will be filling up the freeways and surface streets, and this traffic will have its share of Uber and Lyft drivers.
But recent studies have shown ridesharing services account for their fair share of traffic-related accidents and fatalities. If you or a loved one have been impacted by a ridesharing accident, reach out to the Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg.
An Uber-sized problem
According to a new study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, Uber and Lyft drivers have accounted for a 2% to 3% spike in U.S. traffic deaths since Uber’s creation in 2010. These percentages equal as many as 1,100 mortalities a year.
Before 2010, traffic deaths had been on a steady decline. Year after year, the roads seemed to be getting safer and safer. Nationwide, fatal accidents were at an all-time low (32,885). Traffic fatality numbers had not been this low since 1949. Then in 2010, up in San Francisco, Uber started taking their first customers for a ride.
Over the last decade, these numbers have reversed. In cities across America, fatality numbers began to climb as ridesharing services were introduced to the circulation of city traffic.
Watching the statistics Lyft
The calculations were simple. Researchers saw San Francisco’s statistics on fatal accidents rise after Uber’s launch in 2010. In other cities, the fatalities increased as ridesharing services were introduced. Comparing the data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, you can see the correlation between a spike in deaths as Uber or Lyft launched in specific cities.
A lot of accidents have been attributed to a phenomenon known as “deadheading.” This is when Uber or Lyft drivers spend an average of 50% of their driving time looking for their next passenger. This increase in driving time, in turn, increases traffic congestion. With more congestion comes more accidents.
The last decade has seen a large data pool concerning ridesharing research. These studies have not only determined fatality statistics, but the numbers also show a slash in the number of travelers and commuters using public transportation. This leads cities to respond to the dangers of ridesharing by introducing caps on ridesharing and limitations on areas used for drivers to pick up passengers.
Sharing the burden
California traffic contains a unique universe of cautions and dangers. The roads here are full of all sorts of drivers—truckers, tourists, taxis, commuters, errand runners, Uber and Lyft drivers, are just a few reasons why streets and freeways are so crowded.
Accidents involving ridesharing services only add to this mess of confusion. Dealing with the details of the insurance companies of multiple drivers can feel like too much to handle. The Los Angeles personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Howard Kornberg are here to help. Contact us by clicking here or calling 310-997-0904 for a free consultation.