Ride-sharing vehicles like Uber have become extremely popular over the last few years which has given rise to an influx of Uber cars roaming cities like San Jose. The increased presence of Uber leads to the inevitability that a collision with a cyclist will occur.
Uber, like other ride-sharing companies such as Lyft, allow users to log-in to an app and order a ride from an Uber driver in the area. Uber rates are significantly less than traditional cabs, so riders can greatly benefit from riding in an Uber car. Ride-sharing is not heavily regulated like traditional taxi-cabs, and the drivers are independent contractors who work only when they want to.
It works like this: The Uber driver logs in to the app and signifies that he or she is available for a pickup. When a ride is requested using the app, the rider is connected to an Uber driver who then accepts the order which gives the driver the rider’s location.
The app allows the rider to see the location of the car and thus can know when it will show up. The rider pays for the ride when placing the order, and the rider can tip using the app as well.
Issues Surrounding Uber and Cyclists
Most of the issues with Uber drivers and cyclists come from their proximity to each other inside the inner cities. Uber drivers are busy picking up and dropping off passengers while cyclist ride through the city on their way to work, play or running errands.
Uber cars need to park to pick up and drop off their passengers, and often this causes problems with cyclists. San Jose has almost 300 miles of bike lanes, and it averages almost 300 days of sunny weather. Combine these and you get a lot of bike riding in the city. Uber drivers often stop to pick up or drop off parking over a designated bike lane. This is illegal, and it causes havoc with the cyclists who have to stop abruptly or swerve to avoid the car in their path.
Dooring happens when a motorist or passenger opens his or her door right in front of a cyclist who doesn’t have time to react and then runs into the door. The injuries that accompany dooring can be severe and even cause death. Under California law, a driver is to use caution when opening the car door and is prohibited from opening in front of a moving cyclist. However, the fine is small, and many drivers and passengers don’t’ think about it until it’s too late. We have worked with several cases like this and the passenger and the driver may both be liable. Be sure to contact us after any crash involving Uber.
So who’s fault is it when a cyclist is doored by an Uber driver or his/her passenger? It should seem pretty straight forward, but it’s not. Many times, the passenger is the one who doors the cyclist, and then walks away thinking they have no culpability. The driver might leave too thinking that it wasn’t their fault that the passenger opened the door in front of the cyclist. This is basically a hit and run. If at all possible call police and get the information of BOTH the passenger and the driver.
What Should I do if I get hit by an Uber Driver?
If you are involved in an accident involving an Uber or any ride-sharing service vehicle, call the attorneys at Bay Area Bicycle Law. They have the knowledge and experience dealing with Uber and other ride-sharing companies and their insurance carrier. They also know bicycle law as they are the only personal injury law firm that deals exclusively with bicycle law in the San Jose area as well as all of northern California.
Start putting someone on your side, call us at (415) 466 8717 or click here to contact us online. If you still wonder if we’re the right firm for you or even if you need an attorney, read this this for help answering these questions.