When that Text Cannot Wait: Uber Drivers Accused of Distracted Driving

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Uber drivers have recently become extremely popular. Who doesn’t love the convenience of having a car delivered right to their door, within minutes, through the simplicity and ease of an app? No need to stand outside in the freezing cold, waiting for an in-service, empty taxi to pick you up. Now the car comes to you, and the driver sends a text when they arrive. Easy and convenient, but how safe is it?

If you happen to be involved in an accident caused by an Uber driver who was distracted while sending or receiving requests, you might not think “safe” is a good word to describe this fast, convenient service. A beeping noise on the driver’s Smartphone alerts him to a potential fare. At this point, the driver has approximately 15 seconds to accept the call by tapping his phone. However, prior to accepting the call, he must first determine how far away the customer happens to be. He must be speedy with his determining and tapping, or else he runs the risk of losing the fare. In fact, in some cities, Uber may actually suspend the driver if he fails to respond to a number of calls in a timely manner.

This race to review and either accept or decline the fare gives a driver very little time to pull over, especially if there is already a paying customer in the car. The “It Can Wait” slogan will likely never be a bumper sticker on an Uber Driver’s vehicle — for it simply cannot wait.

As new as the Uber service is, there have already been lawsuits filed against the company for the alleged distraction of drivers. In 2014, an Uber driver was charged with misdemeanor manslaughter after the driver allegedly struck and killed a child in San Francisco. He was alleged to have been using his UberX app at the time of the accident. Hopefully, future technology will allow Uber drivers to respond to Uber calls without being distracted. However, we are not there yet.

This also applies to all drivers in general; whether they are operating personal automobiles, motorcycles, trucks or any other vehicle. Distracted driving kills. Unfortunately, this fact has been proven time and time again. When a person is injured due to another’s distracted driving, a skilled personal injury attorney with experience in these types of accidents can be of great assistance. With the right legal representation, the victim of a distracted driver may be awarded significant compensation for physical and emotional damage, as well as collateral issues such as lost wages.

Contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at the Wilton Law Firm to discuss injuries received in a motor vehicle accident, whether distracted driving was the cause of the accident or something else.