Ride share apps have exploded in popularity in the last couple of years, and some people are choosing to rely on ride sharing apps instead of buying a car. They can be convenient, and many ride sharing apps do screen drivers. Other companies may not check everyone's driving record, though, so beware!
Personal injury attorneys know all too well how many passengers are injured in car wrecks each year. So when getting in the car with a stranger that you connect with on a ride sharing app, be sure to follow these tips for staying safe on the road as a passenger.
Tip #1: Utilize Your Seatbelt Even in the Backseat
Seatbelt laws vary by state, but you should wear a seatbelt every time you get in a car no matter what the state laws are. Although the driver and front seat passenger are typically the only ones required to wear a seatbelt, you should put your safety belt on when in the backseat, too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of people who were seriously injured or killed in an auto accident were not wearing their seatbelts.
Tip #2: Call Out Bad Behavior from the Driver
Although it can be difficult to do, it's important to speak up when you see the driver exhibiting dangerous behavior. Bad driving behaviors include careless driving, driving through stop signs without stopping, driving too fast in challenging weather conditions, texting while driving, and speeding. If you notice that the driver of your car is doing anything that puts you at risk, speak up. Politely ask them to refrain from that behavior, and you may explain why if you'd like. If the driver will not listen, try to exit the vehicle whenever it is safe to do so.
Tip #3: Help Your Driver Stay Focused
As a passenger, it's important that you do not distract the driver. Conversation and other fun interaction is tempting, but a driver needs to remain focused on the road. You may strike up a conversation when the driver is stuck in traffic, but try to refrain from anything distracting while the person is driving. You may offer to put on calm music and help with traffic navigation. If you do engage in conversation, avoid topics that will be upsetting or otherwise distracting.
Finally, keep in mind that you should look out for your safety at all times when you're on the road. If you feel unsafe because of the way that someone is driving, it's okay to ask to be dropped off at the next safe location. If you do experience an injury while a passenger, be sure to see a personal injury attorney, such as those at Cok Kinzler PLLP, to see if you have a case and assess the possibilities after an accident.