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How Can You Stay Safe in Ride-Sharing Vehicles and Cabs?

Posted in Car Accident on October 19, 2017

At Matt Hardin Law, we know how dangerous impaired driving can be. We help many victims every year who had their lives forever changed due to others getting behind the wheel when their blood alcohol concentrations were over the legal limit.

Due to the dangers associated with drunk and impaired driving, we always recommend for people to use designated drivers, ride-sharing services, and cabs after a night out. And while relying on a sober driver can significantly decrease your risks of being involved in an accident, there are still some precautions that you should take to protect yourself.

Ride-sharing services and cabs aren’t without risks, and their drivers are just as prone to making mistakes behind the wheel as anyone else. However, knowing the risks involved and the best ways to mitigate them can help make your next sober ride home even safer.

Follow These Tips to Reduce Your Risks

Many riders take their safety for granted when they request ride-sharing services or cabs. But there are a few important steps riders can take to avoid increasing the risk of an accident and to stay safe when they’re entering or exiting their ride-sharing vehicles or cabs:

  • Request a ride indoors. Some riders wait until they’re outside of their homes, bars, or restaurants before requesting a ride. They also may wait for their rides to arrive while standing on sidewalks or near traffic. Ride-sharing apps have live map updates showing how close the driver is to your location, and cab drivers will call you when they arrive. Stay indoors where it’s safe until your driver arrives.
  • Tell a friend where you’re going and how you’re getting there. Before you leave, make sure someone knows your plans. That includes what time you’re leaving, where you’re headed, and when you expect to arrive. You should also tell him or her which ride-sharing service or cab company you’re using. Some ride-sharing services even allow you to share your ride status with friends so that they can check-in on you and make sure your vehicle arrives safely at its destination.
  • Make sure the driver, vehicle description, and license plate number match. Ride-sharing apps provide detailed descriptions or photos of the driver picking you up, along with his or her make and model vehicle and license plate number. Always check this information before getting inside the vehicle to ensure you’ve found the right driver. If you feel unsure about anything, don’t get in the car.
  • Look both ways before crossing the street when your driver arrives. Many pedestrian accidents occur when cab riders or ride-sharing service customers are walking towards their requested vehicles—especially late at night in urban areas where drivers and pedestrians are likely to be intoxicated. Always look both ways before crossing, and never assume that drivers can see you.
  • Put bags or luggage in the trunk and buckle up. Large unsecured items can pose a serious threat to you or the driver in the event of an accident. Always place bags, luggage, or other large items in the trunk or cargo area of the vehicle. When you sit down, choose the backseat and be sure to buckle up right away. Change seats or request another ride if the seat belts appear broken or frayed.
  • Watch for traffic when exiting the vehicle. It’s safest to exit a ride-sharing vehicle or cab on the side closest to the sidewalk or curb, but that’s not always possible. If you must exit near the road, turn your head and check for approaching vehicles before opening your door. After you’ve excited the vehicle, walk behind it and to the side of the road as soon as possible to reduce your risks of a pedestrian accident.
  • Ask the driver to stop or call 911 if you ever feel like you’re in danger. Although most cab and ride-sharing service drivers are safe, attentive, and cautious behind the wheel, some riders may encounter drivers who are reckless, aggressive, or even intoxicated. If you ever feel like your safety may be in danger while in a cab or ride-sharing vehicle, ask the driver to stop and let you out in a safe and well-lit area, such as a parking lot or police station. If the driver is uncooperative, call 911 immediately.
  • Give feedback about your ride. Ride-sharing services make it easy for customers to share their experiences directly on their smartphone apps, including rating systems and options for more detailed feedback. Drivers who provide safe and pleasant rides for customers get matched with more riders, while unsafe or unpleasant drivers may be terminated. You can also call the cab company and report any dangerous behaviors via the cab number.

In addition to these tips, it’s also important to remember that ride-sharing services also give drivers a chance to rate riders. That means you should be on your best behavior and avoid anything that could distract the driver. You should also avoid asking him or her to make additional stops on the way to your destination or to violate traffic laws, including speeding, making illegal U-turns, or passing slower vehicles in areas where it’s prohibited.

Were You Hurt in a Ride-Sharing Vehicle or Cab Accident?

The Nashville auto accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law know that riding in a vehicle always carries inherent risks. And while choosing a ride-sharing service or cab for a safe ride home after consuming alcohol is always the right choice, it doesn’t eliminate your chances of being involved in an accident. When drivers fail to obey the rules of the road, avoid distractions, and uphold their responsibility to keep themselves and their passengers safe, serious injuries can occur.

If you or someone you know was hurt in a ride-sharing or cab accident, it’s important to get in touch with an experienced law firm right away. Valuable evidence that can prove the driver’s negligence can quickly disappear. Our legal team has 30 years of experience helping injured auto accident victims get compensation for their medical bills and lost wages, and we know what it takes to win. Call today for a free consultation—just dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online form.