Ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar offer on-demand shared rides. Passengers needing a ride to and from a location can summon a car and pay using a smartphone app. A driver picks you up from your current location and transports you to your desired destination. Rideshare is usually cheaper than hailing a cab or renting a limousine service, and easier and more flexible.
These services are changing the way we get around: You receive a text when your ride has arrived- convenient during inclement weather. You can grab a drink with coworkers and have someone else behind the wheel. You can work on your tablet or use the phone during your commute.
Ridesharing offers plenty in the way of convenience but is not without its controversy. What happens when an Uber or Lyft driver is in a car accident? Drivers and vehicles of traditional taxi companies are licensed and regulated by the state. Public hire insurance is for cab drivers- use a signal for availability and pickup riders. The taxi company is generally responsible for insurance on the vehicle. Uber has insurance policies in place to cover a ridesharing passenger. According to the Uber website,
“This policy provides up to $1 million in coverage for each and every incident that occurs from the time a driver has accepted a trip and is en route to pick up passengers or is transporting passengers to their destination…Uber Technologies, Inc. Liability coverage is up to $1 million per incident for bodily injury or property damage to passengers or any other third parties, such as pedestrians, other vehicles, buildings, etc. The policy also covers bodily injury caused by uninsured and underinsured motorists up to $1 million/incident, so that no matter who is at fault, coverage is in place.”
On July 1, 2015, California passed a law requiring that ridesharing companies provide liability insurance coverage for their drivers during all three periods the Transportation Network Company (TNC)-Uber, Lyft, etc.,- application is on. The California Department of Insurance states the TNC services generally fall into three periods:
The ridesharing company is required to maintain $1 million in liability during periods two and three. However, during period one, liability coverage decreases.
If you are an injured passenger or pedestrian of a rideshare driver, contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney.
The holidays are a time for celebration and togetherness but they are also a time for last-minute shoppers and holiday party-goers. Whether people are making a “Happy Holidays!” phone call from behind the wheel, dashing to the next holiday function, or drinking “spirited” eggnog, drivers exhibit dangerous behaviors this time of year.
Driving when you’re distracted, impaired or tired is always dangerous. However, low visibility, rain, ice and snow, and the pressures of the holidays makes December a dangerous month to be on the road. Whether you’re driving a sleigh or a car, drive safely this holiday season!
Avoid these four most dangerous holiday driving hazards:
1. Distracted Driving: driving while using your cell for talking and texting, browsing the web, and engaging in any activity other than driving.
2. Impaired Driving: involves the consumption of alcohol or use of drugs. During the winter holidays, there is an increased number of drunk or impaired drivers on the roadways. The number of tragedies including serious injuries and loss of life increases significantly as a result of impaired driving. There are multiple ride share programs and taxi businesses available for use during the holidays.
3. Pressured Driving: Forgetting to purchase gifts, meeting deadlines and getting home in time for supper are factors that can increase the pressures and stress created by trying to accomplish multiple tasks in a small amount of time. Stressed out drivers may drive faster for current conditions, aggressively and dangerously change lanes, fail to yield or stop properly, and disregard others’ safety when on the road.
4. Tired Driving: The winter holidays increase activities and demands that cause a decrease or lack of sleep.
As personal injury attorneys, the trend we see the most is distracted driving more than the others combined. People are rear- ended by drivers texting or making phone calls. Don’t text and drive. It can wait. Be safe these holidays from Kershaw, Cook & Talley.
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