According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day, about 32 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes — that’s one person every 45 minutes. Last year, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths — a 14% increase from the previous year.
To make matters worse, research shows that during the holidays, those numbers increase from already-devastating levels to overwhelmingly tragic numbers that are sadly repeated each year from Thanksgiving through the start of the New Year.
Our Glen Larson Law Injury Attorneys in Texas know all DWI motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities are preventable. However, that requires drunk drivers to refrain from getting behind the wheel. Even if you have made the intelligent decision to schedule an Uber, how do you know if your rideshare driver is sober?
Uber drivers can just as easily stop by a party, restaurant, or bar and have a few drinks before getting behind the wheel and turning on their app to meet their revenue goals as a person who is not a rideshare driver.
When rideshare accidents occur, it is important to understand your rights to pursue the financial recovery you may be entitled to. Our Uber, Lyft, And Rideshare Accident Attorneys in Austin can help.
How Do I Know If My Rideshare Driver Is Sober?
According to Uber, one million U.S. workers used the Uber platform to earn income by driving passengers, delivering food, or doing both last year.
The process to become an Uber driver is relatively simple, and requires verification of vehicle registration, a valid license, and vehicle insurance to get started. While riders have access to details like the driver’s name, the image of the person, type of vehicle, and its corresponding license plate number, the reality is it impossible to know exactly who you are getting into a car with.
This means it is also impossible to know whether the driver is reckless, prone to speeding, tailgates, susceptible to road rage — or impaired by drugs or alcohol — when entering the vehicle. Short of a strong smell of alcohol or clear signs of impairment, riders are simply entering Ubers blindly and allowing the drivers to proceed with their trips.
That is not to say that anyone would voluntarily get into a vehicle with someone who is impaired. However, when the holidays are here, a lot of Uber riders are scheduling rides to avoid getting behind the wheel after celebrating with friends and family. When they trust their Uber driver to be sober, and get them to their destinations safely, they typically are not checking the driver’s current state.
Even if they are, it is easier for Uber drivers to hide their impairment, as the riders do not know their “usual” behaviors compared to how they act during the ride. This makes impaired Uber driving unusually difficult to spot. Until it isn’t.
When Texas rideshare accidents occur, and the occupants of the vehicle are injured, the police and Uber should be contacted right away. Responding law enforcement will typically — especially if prompted by the crash’s circumstances — present the driver with a breathalyzer or other impairment measurement. If he or she was negligent in causing the crash, you are going to need a skilled rideshare attorney who knows which insurance companies can be pursued for your complete damages. That is why we are here.
Who Is Liable For An Impaired Rideshare Driver Accident, Injuries & Fatalities In Texas?
If you are a passenger in an Uber vehicle at the time of a crash caused by an impaired Uber driver, Uber’s insurance policy currently provides $1,000,000 of liability coverage per accident, when the driver is engaged in a ride while using the Uber app. Since you are in the middle of using the service as a passenger, this is true, and the coverage amount applies to your collision, injuries, or the loss of your loved one.
However, Uber is a large corporation that has a team of attorneys and insurance representatives who are going to fight to avoid paying the least amount of damages possible for your case. We have a team of experienced attorneys who will fight for your rights, too.
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one during a rideshare accident caused by an impaired Uber driver in Texas, call our Austin Personal Injury Attorneys at (512) 746-1397 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation.
We pursue dedicated, driven results for our clients, and there is never a charge to talk to an attorney. We stand ready to help you.