New York residents and visitors can now access an online public data hub for information on how taxis, limos, or rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft are operating within the city. The overall goal is to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety on New York streets. The data hub makes it possible to compare traffic information in all city boroughs.
Uber and Lyft have changed the transportation landscape in New York and rideshare drivers have contributed to increased congestion. Taxis, Uber and Lyft made 20.6 million trips in a recent year. Rideshare drivers often cruise the streets between rides, which has added to the already legendary traffic problems in New York. To deal with the congestion, the TLC (New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission) has adopted new rules, limiting “cruising time” time between rides.
Traffic Congestion and Rideshare Accidents in New York
The incredible volume of for-hire vehicles on New York streets can lead to frustration, aggressive driving, and drivers who take chances that lead to serious or fatal accidents. While Uber and Lyft provide a service that New Yorkers and visitors to the city appreciate, the increase in vehicles on city streets has led to an increase in injury accidents in New York.
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Rice University have revealed a 2 to 3 percent increase in fatal vehicle accidents after Uber and Lyft begins operating in a city, as reported by Business Insider. Almost 1,000 people died in vehicle accidents in the state of New York in a recent year, according to the IIIS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). These fatalities included other drivers, passengers, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Under Mayor de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” plan, traffic deaths have reduced, but the city has an ever-increasing number of injury accidents. New York collisions on city streets increased 11 percent over four years, with a staggering 228,227 accidents occurring in a recent year, with injuries increasing 18 percent, with 44,508 people injured, according to the New York Post.
Rideshare Accidents and Insurance Claims
If you were injured in a car accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, the legal issues surrounding the accident are more complex. How compensation will be recovered will be based on what the rideshare driver was doing at the time. Uber and Lyft provide insurance to their drivers – but only under certain circumstances. Rideshare drivers are contractors, not employees, and use their own vehicles. The driver must carry private auto insurance.
Uber and Lyft driver time is divided into three separate periods, based on the driver’s rideshare app usage. When the app is closed, and the driver is not engaged in picking up or dropping off a passenger, the driver’s private auto insurance is in play. Private auto insurance does not cover a driver who is engaged in commercial driving, so once the driver is on the way to pick up a passenger, the Uber or Lyft insurance is activated.
If the rideshare driver is logged into the app but has not yet accepted a ride, up to $100,000 in total injury liability is available. Uber and Lyft will only pay the insurance claim after a claim has been filed with your own policy, adding to the confusion. Once a ride has been accepted, Uber and Lyft provide liability coverage up to $1,000,000. If you were injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you need legal help to seek justice and full compensation.
How to Resolve an Uber or Lyft Accident Case
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we are trial lawyers, and we prepare every case we take on for the courtroom. We are rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating, are listed in “Best Lawyers,” and are recognized by Super Lawyers magazine. We have won hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients over our years in practice and have over 50 years of combined experience. We urge you to call us at (212) 986-7353 to schedule a free consultation about a New York rideshare accident case.