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Why Rideshare Drivers Are Often Distracted Behind the Wheel

Rideshare services are extremely popular in America, especially in big metro areas like Oklahoma City. A study found that around 25% of the U.S. population uses a ridesharing service at least once per month, and there are more than 1.7 million rideshare drivers nationwide.

There’s no denying that rideshare services are fast and convenient, but the biggest question is if they’re safe. When people ride in rideshare vehicles, they may think they are safer than when they drive themselves, but they’re actually often at greater risk of being involved in a crash because their drivers are likely distracted.

Here’s why that happens.

Rideshare Drivers Want to Complete Rides as Quickly as Possible

Both rideshare apps and their drivers wouldn’t have good reputations if they were slow and took a long time to get their riders to their destinations. Because of the importance of reviews, rideshare drivers often feel pressured to complete rides quickly, and that can mean focusing more on speed and timing than on what’s happening on the road in front of them or obeying speed limits and right-of-way.

Rideshare Drivers Often Juggle Multiple Customers at Once

When rideshare drivers pick up passengers, they’re already thinking about their next customers and whether they can find new fares at their drop-off destinations. That often requires looking at and interacting with their phones while they’re driving. They may even receive phone calls and text messages from their next fares asking where they’re at or when they will arrive.

Rideshare Drivers Often Rely on GPS

Whether they’re new to a city or have lived in it their entire lives, rideshare drivers often must rely on GPS navigation to get their customers to their destinations. Even when turn-by-turn voice navigation is active, they still may be distracted when trying to determine where to turn or which exit to take. They can be further distracted when their riders tell them shortcuts to take that differ from the GPS directions or if they try to change destinations mid-ride.

Rideshare Drivers May Focus Too Much on Their Passengers

Rideshare drivers want good ratings and to ensure their passengers have a pleasant experience in their vehicles. That means they may become preoccupied with their riders’ comfort by handing them snacks, water, and other freebies. They also may engage them in conversation and even turn around to speak to them while driving, which can put them and their passengers at serious risk of a crash.

Rideshare Drivers May Be Fatigued After Long Hours on the Road

When you go on a road trip, it’s recommended that you stop and rest every 2-3 hours. But rideshare drivers may drive nonstop for much longer than that. Because rideshare drivers are independent contractors with no set schedules, some may work for long stretches to maximize their pay. When rideshare drivers are fatigued after long hours on the road, they can’t focus on safe driving.

Rideshare Drivers May Be “Dual Agents”

Some rideshare drivers may have two phones attached to their dashboards or windshields: one for Lyft and one for Uber. There’s no law or company rule preventing drivers from driving for both services, and many do to decrease their downtime between fares. However, this can be extremely distracting, as they need to juggle notifications, text messages, phone calls, and other alerts from two rideshare services on two devices.

Rideshare Drivers May Text or Call Friends and Family Members

Many rideshare drivers become distracted for the same reason that other drivers do: they use their phones to text and call friends and family. However, it’s illegal to text while driving in Oklahoma, and rideshare drivers can be held liable if they crash and injure their passengers or others while distracted by their phones.

After a Rideshare Accident, Call Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers

When you get in a rideshare driver’s vehicle, you expect to be driven to your destination safely. But if your driver is distracted, you’ll face a much higher risk of being involved in a crash than you would if he or she stayed focused on the task at hand.

When drivers cause crashes because they’re distracted, they can and should be held liable for any damages. At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, our Oklahoma City Lyft and Uber accident attorneys work hard to help injured riders get maximum compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Contact us today for a free consultation if you were hurt in a rideshare accident that was caused by a distracted or negligent driver.