Millions of people take Uber every day. But is it safe in Florida?
At Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers, we understand the risks of Uber, including traffic accidents and personal safety. Our Uber accident attorneys in Pensacola are available for a consultation if you need guidance about your legal options when you’re harmed using a rideshare service.
How Safe Is Uber in Florida?
Nationwide, Uber reports that 99.9% of trips happen without a safety incident. However, car accidents can happen involving Uber vehicles, with some causing serious injury and death. In addition, Uber riders have been victims of battery and sexual assault.
What is the Uber accident fatality rate compared to all drivers?
According to USA Today, the accident fatality rate for driving involving an Uber vehicle is approximately half that of all driving. For Uber rides, 0.62 fatalities occur per 100 million miles traveled, while the national average for all drivers is 1.22 per 100 million miles traveled.
Uber Safety Statistics
According to Uber’s own Safety Report:
- 1 in every 5,000 Uber rides results in a report of a critical safety incident (0.0002%).
- In 2020, there were 42 Uber-related fatalities. There were 59 Uber-related fatalities in 2019.
- On average, one in every 90 million Uber trips results in a passenger fatality.
- There were 3,824 sexual assaults reported involving Uber in 2019-20.
- 1 in every 5 million Uber trips in the United States results in a report of non-consensual sexual penetration.
- 0.01% of Uber rides result in an incident report. Most of these reports are not critical like concerns about driving that did not result in an accident or a verbal dispute with a driver.
- In 2019 and 2020 combined, 15 Uber riders died because of physical assault involving Uber. Drivers were accused of three fatalities.
- The overall Uber physical assault fatality rate for 2019-20 is 1 in every 100 million trips.
Florida Uber Safety Measures – 2017 Legislation
In 2017, Florida Statutes § 627.748 became law. The law is meant to promote safety in rideshare services including Uber. It addresses both traffic and personal safety. Highlights of the law include:
- The app must display a digital photo of the driver and their license plate number before the rider enters the vehicle.
- The driver’s insurance must recognize them as a rideshare driver. They must have at least $1 million in coverage for death, bodily injury and property damage.
- All rideshare companies, including Uber, must have a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol and drug use while a driver is active on the platform. If Uber receives a report of alcohol or drug use, it must suspend the driver and investigate.
- A national background check and sex offender registry check are required every three years. There are disqualifying convictions including a felony in the last five years and serious traffic-related offenses like drunk driving.
- Uber may not authorize a driver who doesn’t have a valid license or vehicle registration.
These safety measures are unique to Florida. Many states have rideshare services laws, and they vary.
Uber Safety Efforts
In its Safety Report, Uber says it takes measures to promote rider safety. These measures include:
- Photo verification before a driver begins a shift
- Optional PIN verification to ensure the rider is correctly matched to the driver
- Alerts to remind riders to wear their seat belt
- Communication between riders and drivers that does not reveal phone numbers, including allowing riders to contract drivers after a trip to recover a lost item
- Sharing features so that riders can share trip information with others
- An emergency button to contact local first responders
- Feedback for non-emergency safety issues
- Notifications when there is a suspected issue with a trip, which refers riders to call emergency responders or make a safety incident report
- Alerts for drivers about bike lanes
- Optional audio recording and dashcam installation
- Required rest breaks for drivers after 12 hours of Uber driving
In its Safety Report, Uber details incident reporting protocols, including account suspension, investigation and response. They state that their response to sexual assault reporting is to arrive at a resolution that best protects the safety of the Uber community (see page 31 of the Uber Safety Report). They allow law enforcement officials to submit subpoenas, court orders and warrant information requests through a portal. They say that they always respond to emergencies.
Even though Uber says it’s serious about rider safety, critics say it’s not enough. Traffic accidents and assaults still occur. These incidents cause serious harm to victims.
Uber Safety Tips – What You Can Do
Here are some things you can do to help you have a safe Uber trip:
- Know what driver you’re meeting. Make sure they look like their picture and the license plate matches. The vehicle model and color should match, too.
- Ask the driver who they are there to pick up and the destination.
- Activate the share feature so that a friend or family member knows your travel plans.
- If possible, don’t ride alone.
- Sit in the back seat unless the car is full.
- Don’t share personal information with your driver. They only need the trip information. Never give them your phone number, address, location or other details.
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Be aware of your surroundings when you embark and disembark from the vehicle. Look for approaching traffic. Use caution when opening doors.
- Start your trip request inside. This minimizes the time you’re outside waiting with your phone.
- Familiarize yourself with Uber’s emergency button and feedback options.
- Follow along with your GPS to make sure your driver is going the right way.
- Never agree to meet an Uber driver or another passenger later.
- If necessary, give feedback or report a concern. You may be helping someone else.
Trust your intuition. If something feels out of place, decline the trip. If the trip is in progress, use the emergency button or send feedback to Uber, depending on what is necessary.
Talk to an Uber Accident Lawyer in Pensacola
Have you been harmed while using Uber? Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers represent people who are harmed while using Uber rideshare services. We are sorry that your ride was not safe. We want to help you exercise your rights and receive justice.