Safety Concerns in Taxis versus Ubers

Posted on behalf of Henness & Haight on Oct 08, 2015 in Car Accident News

Companies like Lyft and Uber have made a major splash across the nation and are presenting themselves as a solid alternative to traditional taxi service. However, there are certain issues that arise with these ride sharing services that should be taken into account. Here's a look at some safety concerns in taxis versus Ubers.

Safety Concerns

Safety concerns have been at the forefront of controversy for companies such as Uber and Lyft ever since they first appeared. In fact, some who might otherwise secure the services of these companies avoid doing so because of fears relating to driver violence against passengers.

Lawsuits have been filed in several cities alleging that these companies exaggerate or otherwise misrepresent how thoroughly they background check their drivers, and regarding allegations of sexual assault against drivers for the companies. While there have also been allegations of this nature against taxi companies and drivers, taxis have traditionally been more regulated than ride-hailing companies, which gives riders a greater sense of safety when taking the more traditional methods.

New Laws for Uber

Because of the nature of the Uber service, Nevada has passed the UBER bill act, which amends transportation law NRS 484D.500. The purpose of the new legislation is to increase safety standards relating to these transportation services, who must now disclose all policy limits while providing service.

According to this amended bill, there are several changes to existing regulations for these services. Firstly, Uber, Lyft and similar companies are now referred to as "transportation network companies." A seatbelt rule has been added requiring passengers to buckle up while in any cab or transportation network vehicle.

Insurance Issues

Insurance issues are the biggest change regarding the new UBER bill act. Whenever a driver for a ride-hailing service picks up a fare for cash, neither the network's nor the driver's insurance coverage applies, because the driver is applying the vehicle to commercial use rather than personal use.

Other minimum insurance requirements include:

  • Minimum of $1.5 million in bodily injury and death insurance is required for providing transportation services
  • Minimum of $50K/100K is required in bodily injury/death is required to be available for requests for these services
  • Personal drivers' insurance is not applicable as an available policy if the driver is involved in a collision

What to Do

These insurance rules are designed to clarify the needed protections a driver must have. However, there are legal gray areas as to what constitutes "providing services." While the laws do increase safety standards for Ubers versus taxis, which have long had strict regulations, if you are involved in an accident or safety violation, you shouldn't try to represent yourself. Don't sign papers and don't agree to anything. Call a qualified personal injury attorney.

Personal injury laws are tricky and complex. If you are victimized in an accident, attack, or safety issue from a taxi or ride-hailing service in Nevada, we can help. Read a bit about our practice areas and know that we will be there to fight for you, no matter what the circumstances. Call us today for a free consultation regarding your claim regarding Ubers versus taxis.