The Dangers of Distracted Uber Drivers
Uber and other ridesharing services are becoming increasingly popular for people as a more affordable alternative to the traditional cab or taxi. But have you ever stopped to consider how distracted your Uber driver might actually be while you are a passenger? Could they be more distracted than other drivers on the road?
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is when you are operating a motor vehicle while also engaging in other activities such as using a mobile device, eating, or anything else that takes your attention from the road.
When you use Uber, the driver is required to accept your ride on the mobile app in much the same way as you requested the ride initially. If the ride is not accepted within approximately fifteen seconds, then they could lose the ride completely which leads to a loss of income for the Uber driver.
While being an Uber or other rideshare driver seems like a relatively safe and easy job to undertake, you need to consider how safe you are being if you are paying attention to the app, so you don’t miss a request instead of keeping your eyes on the road.
Designed with Safety in Mind
Uber claims that their mobile app was designed with safety in mind because the drivers are not required to look at the app to accept the fare, and instead they can respond to the audible tone by touching anywhere on their screen. This means they do not have to look directly at their mobile device.
Drivers are also encouraged to utilize hands-free navigation devices, a mount for their phone to keep their hands free, and they are urged to follow safe driving practices at all times. However, there are more ways a driver can easily become distracted, and this is tenfold when it involves losing any source of income that may come their way.
To make the application safer, many drivers say that there should be no timeframe in which to respond to the request for a ride. By doing so, they will have ample time to safely pull over and then check the app before proceeding.
This also gives them more time to look at all the information they need for the request such as the location and time the passenger needs so they can make a more informed and thoughtful decision when choosing to accept or deny the request.
How to Avoid Distracted Driving
It can prove difficult to put the phone down and pay attention to the road when it is the phone and the quick responses that mean the difference between money or no money. It is also easy to become distracted by the passengers as well because you are trying to remain attentive to get those reviews.
To help avoid all the dangers associated with distracted driving, you should mount your phone as suggested to keep your hands free and on the steering wheel at all times. The same applies to any navigation device you choose to use.
The best thing you can do when you receive a ride request is to pull over and then look at the information and contact the passenger about their request. You do not want to become distracted trying to figure out all these details on your phone while you are driving and ultimately cause an accident because of the distraction.
Finally, you should follow all safety rules and proper driving practices as you would while operating any other motor vehicle. Don’t let the passengers in the car become a distraction. After all, it is not just your safety at hand; it is also the safety and wellbeing of the passengers in your care.