With all the great restaurants in San Francisco and the rest of the bay area, if someone offers to deliver a take-out meal to you in mere minutes, it’s probably hard to turn it down. Getting restaurant food delivered to your front door is a wonderful aspect of modern life, but there are drawbacks.
Wheel out on your bicycle for a much-needed ride and you may notice more distracted drivers on the road. Some of those drivers may be on the job delivering for companies like Uber Eats. Cyclists are often fighting a battle with vehicle traffic for safe lanes. You can now add to that the fleets of delivery vehicles now contributing to congestion.
When an Uber Eats Driver is At-Fault
With the increased number of vehicles on the road, along with Uber Eats drivers perhaps being preoccupied with their next delivery, the risks for bicyclists are on the rise. A driver’s mistake can send a rider sprawling and left with serious injuries.
In these cases, a claim can often be made against Uber Company that employed the driver. A local Bicycle Accident attorney like those with Bay Area Bicycle Law can help you determine who was at fault and get your hospital bills and recovery costs covered.
Uber Eats Driver Distractions
In Uber’s own report on safety for 2017-2018, the company revealed that in 2% of the deadly accidents its drivers were involved in, bicyclists were the victim. That’s almost exactly in line with national numbers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that each year around 2% of fatal accidents across the nation are bicyclist fatalities.
The Uber Eats threat comes down to more vehicles on the road with more drivers that may be distracted by their work. Those drivers may have their minds on some of the following:
- Customer Order-Up. The wait for the next customer. Multiple orders may come in at once. Some orders have special instructions. All distractions behind the wheel.
- Locating Destinations. The driver will need to find the restaurant to pick-up the order and then figure out how to reach the customer’s location. Delivery Drivers utilize GPS systems but even the guidance those devices provide has been known to suggest unsafe traffic decisions.
- Speeding to make their deadlines for delivery. Customers prefer their food to be warm.
- The food itself can become a factor if something spills or bags tumble.
Bay Area delivery drivers can be distracted by so many more things than a normal driver. Factor in the fact that delivery drivers are literally racing against the clock to make timely deliveries to earn their paycheck. The drivers can make a fatal mistake if they cut corners on safety.
Uber Eats Insurance Policy for Drivers
Uber provides drivers with an insurance policy that covers any accidents that happen anytime from the moment an order is accepted until the delivery is complete. Uber Eats maintains a one million dollar third party supplemental insurance policy.
The policy provided is intended to be supplemental to the delivery driver’s own insurance. And beware, Uber Eats drivers may be on the road waiting for their next order to come in, but until they accept an order they aren’t on the clock. In most cases, the Uber Eats policy doesn’t fully cover the contract driver when they are listed as “available” but not on a delivery.
Uber Eats Absorbs Postmates
Uber got its start in and around San Francisco and now the company is merging with another bay area food delivery company. Uber has agreed to purchase Postmates in a more than two and a half billion dollar deal.
Details on how this mega-deal, announced in June of 2020, will affect the delivery industry and Uber Eats has yet to be seen. Unfortunately for bike riders, delivery traffic on local streets probably won’t be improving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long after a bicycle accident can I file a claim?
In California, the victim in an accident usually has two years from the date of the injury or from the date the injury was made known.
What if I wasn’t wearing a bicycle helmet?
By law, a violation of the helmet law doesn’t automatically prevent you from getting compensation. However, a jury could determine that you were negligent in not wearing a helmet and most likely will reduce the amount of compensation you would otherwise receive.
What if I was partially to blame for my bicycle accident?
In California, a jury can divide fault between the driver/employer and the victim of an accident. Then the victim’s compensation is reduced by his or her percentage of fault. This is called comparative fault and it’s used in all personal injury cases in California including bicycle accident injuries.
Contact a San Francisco Bicycle Accident Lawyer
Bay Area Bicycle Law is the only personal injury law firm in Northern California to specialize exclusively in representing injured cyclists. Years of advocacy for bicycle victims have seasoned our attorneys with the necessary skills, knowledge base, and familiarity to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise.
Contact us today for a free consultation. California cyclists who are injured by negligent drivers are entitled to a wide array of compensation. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest.