Published on August 5, 2015
Taxi drivers all over the world are known for their reckless driving and often pushy attitude that leave you terrified of getting into a car accident, but also too intimidated to say anything. This is partly because the drivers are stressed and under serious time pressures, but the end result is a pervasive lack of safety.
The rise of alternative taxi services and ride-share programs have seriously damaged the taxi industry, and opinions on whether this is good or bad are very mixed. One very visible point in Uber and Lyft’s favor, however, is road safety. There are a couple of features that change the way that these new services treat their customers, and it’s a huge part of their current success.
Traditional taxi drivers will usually only see you once in your life. You get in, they drive you somewhere, and you pay. If the driver is having a bad day, he has no reason to be particularly polite. If the company has a poor safety record, and is involved in a lot of traffic accidents, you’re unlikely to hear about it.
An Uber driver gets anonymous reviews from every passenger, and they have to face the consequences if their ratings drop too low. This way, the customer is in control. The driver needs to make sure that the customer has a good experience in order to keep their job. If the driver is rude or drives recklessly and gets into an accident, he probably won’t be around to make a second mistake.
Traditional Drivers Don’t Own Their Cars
Traditional taxi drivers drive company cars. This gives the business a nice unified look, but it also means that drivers don’t have any incentive to drive defensively and to be protective of their vehicle. Lyft and Uber drivers are considered private contractors, so they use their own cars. That means they need to pay for their own vehicles, gas, and maintenance, so they’re inherently more likely to be careful in order to save money.
Real Time Tracking
Uber and Lyft use technology that allows users to track the positions of their drivers in real time over the internet. If a driver takes an inefficient route to milk the meter you and their employer will be able to find out and take action. This is an especially relevant feature in major tourist areas where it’s not uncommon for taxi drivers to take the long way around to take advantage of people who are ignorant of a city’s layout.
Unfortunately, not everyone is winning in this scenario…
Drivers Have To Take More Risks
Uber and Lyft drivers are independent contractors with very little job security, no benefits, and basically no support from their employers. Working for these companies means that they have to take some big professional risks.
Each of them is their own small business, except that they don’t have any of the control that comes with owning your own business. While a lot of attention is being paid to the safety of the customer, the professional safety net of the drivers has been eroded.
But It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
The innovative spirit that gave rise to these new and wildly successful businesses can and should be applied to make sure that everyone benefits. We’re confident that as these businesses mature, they’ll be able to promote a culture of safety while creating a sustainable work atmosphere for their workers.
If you’ve been in a car accident in a taxi, please give us a call at 1-800-INJURED and let us put you in touch with experienced car accident lawyers and local medical centers that can get you the care and compensation that you deserve.
Category: Car Accidents