Each morning the race to get across Santa Rosa begins. Some people start walking, others jump on a bike or hop in a car. Some people let someone else do the driving by hitting up the Uber app for a ride.
This cheap, economical option is great for someone who doesn’t have a car or has parked their vehicle, but for cyclists, the rideshare boom has only served to put more distracted drivers in their path. These drivers may be locked in on their phones confirming information for their next pick-up, all the while not seeing that they’re coming up on an unsuspecting rider.
Support for Santa Rosa Uber Accident Victims
An inattentive driver, rushing to reach a customer, can have a dozen reasons to miss spotting the cyclist ahead, behind, or in the lane next to them. The reasons won’t matter when a defenseless cyclist absorbs an impact from a careless driver. The aftermath can find bicyclists in the hospital facing months of recovery and even longer away from their bikes.
At Bay Area Bicycle Law our attorneys fight every day to protect injured cyclists. We are cyclists ourselves and we know how helpless it can feel to be left to wonder if a driver and the company they work for will support you in recovery. You should have the best medical care possible to get you back on your bike quickly and that care should be fully paid for by those responsible for your accident. Contact us for a free consultation and let us determine the best path to protect your future.
Santa Rosa Uber Accident Dangers
Santa Rosa already has some infamous thoroughfares well-known for the dangers they present cyclists. Rideshare traffic doesn’t help with the problem. The Press Democrat reported on the hazards found on Stony Point Road, as well as a section of Santa Rosa Avenue and the area where Mendocino and College Avenues meet. Over a decade, those three stretches accounted for around 30% of the fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents in the city.
If these roads see the most traffic, it’s a safe bet they top the list of locations Uber drivers see ride requests for. Some Uber employees may even be cautious drivers, but when you factor their work duties in it becomes almost impossible to avoid inattention to the road at some point during each shift.
Uber drivers deal with all the common temptations as they work. Cellphone glances and speeding to get someone to their destination on time. They may be drowsy getting little sleep before a shift. A picky customer may be in the back seat making themselves a distraction.
Drivers can even be working for both Lyft and Uber at the same time. There are even apps to download that help you change between the Lyft and Uber apps faster. It’s an effort to snag more riders and more money, but the added stress can affect driving safety for themselves and you if you happen to be cycling nearby.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) worked with traffic experts to figure out the easiest way to categorize distracted driving. These factors can plague any driver, but specifically a driver who works behind the wheel:
- Visual Distractions – When the eyes move off the road to look at a phone, a child, a radio dial. A common distraction is when a driver is lost and examining every street sign as they slowly drift between lanes. Uber must sometimes locate riders in unfamiliar parts of town.
- Manual Distractions – Taking your hands from the wheel while eating, smoking, or gesturing to a passenger.
- Cognitive Distractions or Daydreaming – The mind wanders and can be affected by mental states. An argument at home or with a customer can occupy the brain. Work stress while driving for Uber can have employees thinking about something other than the road.
Combining these distraction factors in any order can lead to even more inattention for a driver. The risk of a bad decision on the road only increases.
Are Uber Drivers Covered by Insurance?
If an Uber driver is to blame for your injuries in a bicycle collision, you’ll likely be filing a claim against the driver’s personal auto insurance. But that may only be the first part of your journey. Many big and small insurance firms deny claims if they find out the policyholder was on-the-clock at the time of a crash.
If the driver’s insurance won’t cover your costs for medical bills and reimburse your lost time at work, or won’t cover enough of it, Uber coverage may be called upon.
Uber carries insurance but it only backs drivers during certain phases of their routes:
- Period One: A driver without a customer but is in “driver mode” on the Uber app and waiting to get a ride request. If an accident happens at this point, Uber provides victims a total injury liability of $100,000.
- Period Two: A driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick someone up. (see coverage below)
- Period Three: The rider has been picked up. The coverage for period three continues until the passenger has been dropped off. Uber covers any accidents during phase two and three with one million dollars in liability insurance and one million dollars in uninsured /underinsured motorist coverage.
It’s important to note that Uber doesn’t want to cover drivers who aren’t logged into the app and are off-the-clock. Even if the drivers had just logged out moments before. An attorney working on our case can call this policy and other Uber practices into question.
Santa Rosa Bicycle Accident Lawyers
Bay Area Bicycle Law supports and protects injured cyclists in Sonoma County and is one of the state’s only personal injury law firms working exclusively with bicyclists who have been victims in accidents.
We handle cases in your area, and there are many benefits to working with a specialist. If you are injured by a careless Uber driver allow our attorneys to protect your rights while you recover.
Years of advocacy for bicycle crash victims have given our attorneys the necessary skills to handle bicycle accident cases with the utmost level of professional expertise. We will always offer you legal advice which is in your best interest. Contact us today for a free consultation.