Individuals choose ride-sharing services for various reasons. From the lack of dependable transportation to recognizing their own impairment, ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft can provide an invaluable service to drivers nationwide. Unfortunately, these services can introduce new hazards to our highways and city streets.
While most traffic data organizations generally agree there is a relationship between a ride-sharing service’s introduction to an area and a reduction in alcohol-related vehicle collisions, the overall number of traffic accidents seems to remain the same – or increases. This can be related to myriad factors, including:
- Crowded pick-up/drop-off areas: Safety experts agree that one of the biggest hazards when dealing with ride-sharing services is the potential for crowded pick-up and drop-off areas. While many of these trips start at a work or residential location, it is not uncommon for the other end of the trip to be at a mall, shopping plaza, movie theater, sporting event or other busy venue. Unfortunately, these areas are often crowded with additional vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclist traffic.
- Driver fatigue: People often become ride-share drivers as a supplemental source of income. This can equate to a second shift or what amounts to a long workday. Unfortunately, lack of rest can directly impact a driver’s ability to make the right decisions while behind the wheel or quickly identify and avoid road hazards.
- Speeding and reckless shortcuts: The monetary incentives for reaching a destination quickly are obvious. It is not uncommon for drivers to cut corners in an attempt to drop off one fare and pick up another one. While the goal is always to reach the destination safely, a speedy trip is incentivized by either tips or the ability to quickly pick up another fare.
While solving numerous problems, ride-sharing services manage to introduce new traffic issues. These drivers can add many new hazards to highways, county roads and city streets. No matter the type of trip or the destination, it is wise to stay as safe as possible on the roads.