Ridesharing has become the go-to form of transportation for millions of people worldwide. Since the first Uber release in July 2010, billions of passengers have successfully used at least one rideshare company.
This tells us that the idea works in theory and reality. The rideshare innovation has become a thriving industry, with Uber and Lyft leading the way. Other up-and-coming underdogs include Wingz, Juno, and Flywheel.
Yet, as successful as the industry is, there continue to be some problems that passengers complain about over a decade later. Here are some of the most common disadvantages to be aware of before you hire your next rideshare.
1. Riding With Strangers is Always a Safety Risk
Rideshares, by definition, involves hiring an unknown person to drive you around an area you may or may not be familiar with. For you and the driver, this has inherent safety risks.
Yes, hailing a taxi also means both parties are strangers. The major difference is that taxi drivers must go through fingerprint security checks, cross-referenced with the FBI database. Rideshare drivers only receive background checks and driving record reviews.
Lawsuits against Uber and Lyft have proven that the background screenings aren’t thorough enough to prevent sexual assault, kidnappings, and other dangerous activity.
However, the problem works both ways. Passengers don’t undergo any security screenings before hailing a ride, and drivers are at risk from unruly and threatening riders.
Billions of people successfully navigate the rideshare scene each year, so the odds are in your favor. Still, your parents’ advice about watching out for strangers never goes out of date. Follow smart safety precautions before you get in a rideshare vehicle.
2. Accidents in a Rideshare Can Be a Mess to Solve
Your driver can be the most attentive, alert person behind the wheel, but accidents are always possible. When you’re injured in a collision involving a rideshare company, figuring out who is responsible for your bills can be a legal mess.
Insurance companies and legal representatives have to handle a variety of factors to determine who was negligent. If it was the rideshare driver’s fault, the next step is figuring out whether to pursue action against their personal insurance or the rideshare company’s policy.
These answers depend on the circumstances of the accident and the myriad factors involved. Some of the variables include:
- Whether or not the driver was logged into the app at the time of the accident
- If they were logged in, whether they were actively en route or waiting for a passenger request
- If a passenger was in the vehicle with the driver at the time of the collision
Another significant factor that determines the future of the case is the reason for the accident.
Things like fatigue and distraction are considered negligence, and they’re the basis of most personal injury collision cases. But if a party was driving under the influence, or the accident resulted in a death, it may become a criminal suit.
Victims of an accident involving a rideshare must hire an experienced rideshare attorney who knows how to handle all these factors.
3. Rideshares Increase Pollution and Decrease Public Transportation Funding
The increasing number of rideshares on the road puts everyone at risk environmentally and financially. With an extra six billion miles of unnecessary driving in the major metropolitan cities, it’s not surprising that vehicle emissions are on the rise.
More than half of the rideshare passengers in these areas had the opportunity to walk, use bike services, or utilize the public transportation options. Instead, they hailed a ride, added to congested traffic, and contributed to increased greenhouse gas emissions.
At the same time, the ease of hiring a rideshare on an app has directly resulted in decreased public transportation use.
Funding for public transport depends on demand, so many buses and subway systems are losing vital resources. Public transportation is predominantly used by people who can’t afford the costs of rideshares. These public transit systems are invaluable to millions of people, and they’re steadily losing the money necessary to keep functioning.
Since public transit is cheaper and easy to access, it’s a smart alternative to rideshares. Yet, the freedom of having an on-demand driver to take us directly to our destination is something we don’t mind paying for when we can afford it. We don’t always realize that the cost is a lot heftier than what comes out of our wallets.
There’s no arguing that rideshare driving is a booming industry that provides jobs to millions of people.
Hailing a rideshare is ideal when you don’t have public transport or you’re under the influence and don’t want to risk driving. But the disadvantages, like safety, accident responsibility, and damage to the environment, are all things that must be addressed.