By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
With the price of taxi services in most cities rising, people are relying on a new form of transportation called ride-sharing.
Companies like Uber and Lyft can be very convenient for those who don’t own a car or quickly need a ride. However, ride-sharing still poses some risks if the driver and the riders are not taking the necessary precautions.
Here are a few things to consider before deciding if ride-sharing is for you:
- It’s cheaper. Multiple people in the car means less money each individual has to pay. It’s like a taxi, but better!
- It’s more convenient. No more wasting time waiting for a taxi/public transportation when you’re in a hurry. You can schedule your car in advance for any pick-up time you’d like.
- Provides peace of mind. You no longer have to worry about taking the wrong bus/subway train when traveling in an unknown city.
- Readily available in most metropolitan areas.
- Lack of safety. Despite ride-sharing companies trying to increase their positive public image with “stricter” background checks, I’m sure you have seen the news articles about the dangerous situations drivers and riders have endured.
- Many unknowns. Ride-sharing companies only require their drivers to have personal car insurance and since the driver’s personal vehicle is being used for a commercial/business purpose if an accident were to happen, would the driver be covered? Probably not by their personal auto policy. What if an injury is sustained by the driver or rider(s)? Could the ride-share company be held liable? Maybe, but the insurance they provide for driving on behalf of the ride sharing company would. What does that language look like?
- According to the “small print” of Uber’s Terms and Conditions: “UBER shall not be liable for indirect, incidental, special, exemplary, punitive, or consequential damages, including lost profits, lost data, personal injury, or property damage related to, in connection with, or otherwise resulting from any use of the services…”. What the heck does that mean?
- If you decide to use a ride-sharing service, be sure you know the risks. Always be alert and aware of the driver/riders and your surroundings.
- If something seems abnormal, you may just want to call a friend to pick you up. The most important thing is your personal safety.
- If you decide to drive for a ride-sharing service, contact your local insurance agent to make sure you have the appropriate coverages.