Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft have become a normal part of transportation. Most of us have hailed a rideshare at least once before. However, these cell phone apps may also increase the risk for distracted driving. If you were injured by a distracted rideshare driver, it’s important to call your Houston accident injury attorney. Whether you were a passenger or another driver on the road, your attorney can help you seek compensation for your damages and injuries.
After a car accident with a rideshare driver, if you suspect they were distracted, it’s important to tell the responding officer and your Houston auto accident attorney. This can have an impact on your case and help provide evidence of the driver’s fault in the crash. After an accident, you may need to file a claim with the driver’s personal auto insurance or the company’s insurance. Your attorney can help you gather evidence for your claim.
Rideshare Drivers May be More Distracted – Talk to Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney about Accidents with Distracted Drivers
Why are rideshare drivers potentially more prone to distracted driving? Unfortunately, much of the job involves using a smartphone. Rideshare apps have a lot of functions. They match the driver with a passenger, provide GPS information, and also offer a way for passengers and drivers to communicate. Unfortunately, many people use these app features while they’re in motion, which can result in a car crash.
One of the most popular rideshare companies, Uber, connects drivers to passengers by alerting the driver through their phone. The driver must respond within 15 seconds by tapping “accept” on the screen of their phone. Otherwise they lose out on the fare. Accepting as many rides as possible is usually the name of the game if drivers want to turn a profit. Also, after not responding to these alerts consecutively for a certain amount of time, the rider may experience a time-out from the app. Therefore, many drivers decide to use their phones while driving to avoid these issues.
Another reason rideshare drivers may be distracted is because many are using GPS services on their phones to navigate to the driver’s destination. In many cases, this may mean frequently taking their eyes off the road to reach unfamiliar destinations for pick up and drop off.
The National Safety Council estimates that approximately 390,000 people in the U.S. are injured each year by drivers using their cell phones while driving. Therefore, you may be at risk from rideshare drivers using their smartphones while driving. Talk to your Houston accident injury attorney if you suspect distracted driving may be to blame for your auto accident injuries.
Types of Distracted Driving
There are three main categories of distracted driving – visual, manual, and cognitive.
- Visual Distractions: Visual distractions take your eyes off the road. Even looking away for two seconds can result in a fatal crash. Using applications on your smartphone often causes visual distractions from driving, because you must look to see where to tap. A common sign that someone is visually distracted from driving because of a cell phone is when they’re looking down toward their lap, rather than the road. If you notice the other driver might have been using their cell phone, make sure to tell the responding officers and your Houston accident injury attorney.
- Manual Distractions: Manual distractions are things that take your hands away from the wheel. For example, using your cell phone to click something on an app or type a message. Keeping two hands on the wheel can help you avoid unexpected road hazards by swerving, changing positions, or turning.
- Cognitive Distractions: This is another common cause of distracted driving that your Houston accident injury attorney sees. It’s when you’re focused on something other than driving. Multitasking, like cell phone use and talking to passengers, can all create a cognitive distraction. This can cause inattention blindness, where your brain processes less information. For example, performing one other task while driving can limit the amount of information you process about your environment by up to 50%! To illustrate how dangerous this can be, imagine driving with half of your windshield completely blacked out.
Your Houston accident injury attorney is here to help you if you were injured in an accident with a distracted rideshare driver, whether you were another driver or a passenger.
Can You Avoid Accidents with Distracted Rideshare Drivers? Contact Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney if You do get in a Crash
So, what happens when you get in the car and the rideshare driver starts using their phone while driving? It’s important to understand that your safety may be at risk. There are several things you can do to help reduce your risk of an accident. Start by asking the driver to pull over or not use their phone while driving. If necessary, ask them to pull over and end the ride – it’s better to have to wait a little longer for another ride than to risk your safety.
Reporting distracted to law enforcement is another thing you can do. Just remember to come to a full stop before making the call to avoid distracted driving yourself.
Also, if you’re driving around the streets of Houston, defensive driving may help you avoid an accident with a distracted driver. Remaining alert and giving plenty of space between other cars can help give you more room to react to dangerous situations. In some cases, you may even want to pull over and let the person pass. Make your safety on the road a priority. However, not all accidents with distracted drivers are avoidable. If you were in a crash with a distracted rideshare driver, call your Houston accident injury attorney to help with your claim.
Call Your Houston Accident Injury Attorney about Accidents with Distracted Rideshare Drivers
At DeSimone Law Office, we offer legal support and representation for Houston auto accident settlements and lawsuits. Our attorneys have helped settle thousands of cases and are here to help you with yours. We fight for your rights in and out of court after a car accident. We’ll even take care of your out of pocket expenses until we win your case. Call us today at (713) 526-0900 for a free case evaluation. We are here for you.