Hello Dear Reader,

Ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft have revolutionized urban transportation. They provide convenient and easy to access travel options for millions of people worldwide.  But there’s a dark side to this popular travel option and if you aren’t careful, that convenient ride could cost you much more than your fare.

The problem is in the inherent risks associated with using ride-share services. Companies like Uber and Lyft do a fairly decent job of screening potential drivers. They run background checks, pull driving records, verify license and vehicle inspections, and do a lot to verify the identity and safety of their driver.   Still, some bad apples get through.

Recently I came across an article at www.wtop.com. The article highlighted an interview with a young woman who’d became so distressed during her rideshare by her driver’s erratic behavior she felt she had no choice but to jump from the moving car.

Given how often my employees, friends and family take advantage of ride-shares, I thought I’d share some common safety tips about getting into a car with a stranger, even if it’s one you called for a ride.

  1. Recognize the potential danger. Yes, it’s true, ride-sharing platforms care about safety, still there is a risk your driver may not be who they appear to be on paper. A good driving record and being able to pass a background check does not guarantee the driver isn’t capable of reckless driving or misconduct.  Also, drivers use their personal vehicles, this means that maintenance and safety issues with the vehicle may be a concern.
  2. Confirm your driver is who they say they are. Verify the driver and vehicle details match the information provided in the app before you enter the vehicle. Check the driver’s photo, name, and license plate number.
  3. Share your trip details with a trusted friend. This feature on most drive-share apps allows someone you trust to monitor your journey and be alerted if there’s a concern.
  4. Trust Your Instincts. If you feel uncomfortable with the driver or situation, consider canceling the ride or exiting the vehicle at a safe location.
  5. Travel in Groups. There’s safety in numbers. Travel with friends or colleagues when you can.
  6. Stay Vigilant. During the ride, stay aware of your surroundings and be mindful of the driver’s behavior and route.

Hopefully, some good luck paired with due diligence on your part will keep you safe during all your ride share experiences, but if you are ever injured or harmed during a ride-share journey, there are some important steps you should take.

  • First, seek Medical Attention. It can be hard to properly determine the extent of your injuries when they first occur. If you’re in pain or distress, call emergency services and get checked out by a medical professional.
  • Document the Incident. Take note of the details surrounding the incident, including the date, time, driver’s name, license plate number, and any relevant information.
  • Contact the Ride-Share company’s customer support and report the incident. Provide them with the necessary details.
  • Call the police and file a police report.
  • Consult an experienced personal injury attorney who is familiar with the law regarding ride-sharing cases, understands your rights and is willing to explore potential legal avenues for compensation.

To wrap this up, if you or someone you love is ever injured while using a ride-share platform, please reach out to my office 703-761-4343 and 301-949-1515.  With over forty years’ experience handling personal injury claims, we are ready to help you in every way we can.

Until next time, please be safe, and NEVER text while driving!

Paul Samakow

Attorney Paul Samakow

Article featured in wtopnews:

‘My heart was in my stomach’: Arlington woman jumps out of Lyft after driver heads away from destination

https://wtop.com/arlington/2023/06/my-heart-was-in-my-stomach-arlington-woman-jumps-out-of-lyft-after-driver-heads-away-from-destination/

By Luke Lukert  June 21, 2023

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