We Love Ride-sharing, But It Is Any Safer Than Traditional Transport?
There’s no doubt that ridesharing has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Uber and Lyft have both seen massive growth in their businesses. And now they are finally beginning to reflect their lofty valuation (which many people believed were excessive).
Ridesharing is likely to explode in the future as vehicles become more autonomous. In the next five to twenty years, we are likely to see the mass rollout of taxis driven by computers and available through apps. You tap on your phone, and then a taxi in the vicinity will come and pick you up and take you to your destination, perhaps without any driver at all. That’s the promise, anyway.
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The question of whether ridesharing is safer than other modes of transport is going to become more critical as costs come down. Some analysts believe electric vehicles and autonomy could make the cost-per-mile of ridesharing half that of a contemporary motor vehicle. The technology, therefore, is likely to become dominant in the future. People won’t bother with personal motor vehicles if they know they can get an Uber at half the costs
Even so, risks remain. Ridesharing companies do an excellent job of vetting their drivers, but they’re not perfect. And even if the cabby is a professional, they can still make mistakes in the course of their work, putting people at risk.
Remember, these ridesharing services are a tool people can use to get around the high fares charged by licensed taxi services. The idea is to make city transport cheaper and more sustainable. But that means that you now have many people who have nothing more than a driving license, ferrying people around. And it is leading to added risks for passengers.
The good news is that the legal profession is getting on top of the problem. You can now recover the following damages if taking a ridesharing service causes injury: lost wages, medical costs, future medical care, and future lost wages. Thus, if a drivers’ negligence causes damage to you, you’re able to get back all of the money that you would have lost otherwise, and sometimes more.
The question of whether ridesharing is safer than traditional transport is difficult to answer. There are pros and cons to each. The most common belief, however, is that it is more dangerous because of the degree of autonomy drivers have.
For instance, a train driver is less likely to make mistakes, even if they are fatigued or drunk. An Uber driver, by contrast, always has to have their wits about them. If they lose concentration, they may shunt the car in front, causing whiplash, or skid off the road if they speed too fast around a corner.
Poor vehicle maintenance is another issue with which passengers must contend. Ridesharing “partners,” as the industry calls them, spend most of their time out on the road. Sometimes, they don’t have the time or inclination to service their vehicles, and something can go wrong.
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