When you climb into any vehicle, you have a reasonable expectation of safety. You are trusting that the owner is responsible about keeping the vehicle in good shape.
That may not be the case with many ride-hailing vehicles. A Consumer Reports study found one in six Uber and Lyft cars are operating in spite of safety recalls.
In New York City, the magazine cited a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS with eight pending safety recalls. Among the problems were potential seat-belt detachment and possible engine failure.
The Seattle owner of a 2011 Ford Fusion was offering rideshares with five open recalls. Most alarming, the story said, was a dangerous airbag issue.
The cases are not isolated incidents. In all, the magazine reviewed the records of 93,958 Uber and Lyft vehicles in New York City and the Seattle area. It found safety issues with 15,175, or 16.2 percent. In both cities, unsuspecting customers were hailing the vehicles and others like them.
Some ride-hailing drivers are ignoring their duty to offer safe transportation. They also seem unlikely to accept blame for injuries to passengers.
Consumer advocates say the ride-hailing services should do more to protect customers. Uber and Lyft, for example, could use vehicle identification numbers to track cars. The services could then ban recalled vehicles, they say. But the companies, they maintain, have been slow to take action against drivers.
When you are in an accident, you have your hands full dealing with injuries, insurers and the legal system. All you want is the fair compensation that you deserve to cover your expenses and suffering.
Everyone knows that riding in a motor vehicle carries potential risks. When you hire someone else to do the driving, you should be able to cast most of your worries aside.
Ride-hailing drivers make an unspoken promise to take care of you. When they break that vow, you have the right to hold someone accountable.
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