Are we safer or more at risk with Uber and Lyft vehicles on the road?
As many of us are well aware, Uber and Lyft apps have made life easier for a great many New Yorkers. Now that those trying to navigate the busy streets of the five boroughs have more choices of transportations methods — ride-hailing apps as well as passenger cars, buses, subways, bicycles and (until further notice) horse-drawn carriages — it is often easier, and in some cases, cheaper, to get from one part of New York City to another. If you are injured in an accident while riding in an Uber or Lyft, however, the insurance and legal matters involved can be complicated. It is essential to have a cutting-edge personal injury attorney on the case to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Pros of Uber and Lyft
Depending on whom you’re asking, Uber and Lyft are our salvation or damnation. Pedestrians looking to ride instead of walk are often delighted to travel by one of the two services which have the following advantages:
- Vehicles respond within minutes
- You can see your vehicle approach in real time on your handheld screen
- Vehicles are generally cleaner than taxis and subways
- Vehicles usually transport you considerably more quickly than buses
- Because their business depends on your ratings drivers are more pleasant
- Generally available quickly, they keep more drunk drivers off the road
Cons of Uber and Lyft
Recent reports show that city streets, particularly those in Manhattan, are more packed with cars since Uber and Lyft came to town. It is now estimated that, based on data extrapolated from the Taxi and Limousine Commission, though there are fewer taxis on the city streets, there has been a 59 percent increase in NYC vehicles overall during the past several years, and that ride-hailing vehicles constitute between 50 and 75 percent of all vehicles in Manhattan’s central business district. Bruce Schaller, a former Deputy Transportation Commissioner for the City of New York has stating that Lyfts and Ubers are “very much adding to traffic.” Inevitably, this higher concentration of traffic results in more vehicular and pedestrian accidents.
Increasing Number of Accidents
Between 2014 and 2016, collisions involving for-hire vehicles more than tripled — from 534 in July 2014 to 1,672 in June 2016. It should be noted that this is the only major jump in numbers involving TLC-licensed automobiles during that same period. The human toll is great. These crashes result in numerous personal injuries and a number of fatalities. Because drivers for Uber and Lyft use screens to make contacts with their customers, there is, at times, even more distraction among the drivers of these services than among drivers in general, heightening the risk of collisions.
If you suffer an injury while riding in an Uber or Lyft vehicle in New York City, or are hit by one of these vehicles while in your own car or as a pedestrian, it is crucial that you contact a skilled personal injury attorney who specializes in car and pedestrian accidents to make sure you receive the damages you deserve.