New Uber VoIP Feature Adds a Distraction for Uber Drivers
Uber is the largest ride-share or ride-hail app in the entire world. As an instantly recognizable brand that is surprisingly young yet incredibly successful, Uber has had the ability to expand their way into new ventures and develops exciting new features for their products and services. Things like Uber Eats and self-driving vehicles are just the tip of the spear when it comes to Uber’s many ventures. The newest feature on their rideshare app is the ability for Uber drivers to VoIP chat with their riders over the phone.
What is Uber’s New VoIP Feature?
Voice over internet protocol or VoIP chat is basically a phone call system that uses the internet instead of a regular cellular network. Skype is probably the biggest provider of VoIP services and the call format has several pros and cons that lend itself well to the needs of Uber drivers wishing to Communicate with their riders. On one hand, VoIP calls use less data than regular calls and satisfy a longtime demand for additional means of communication between Uber drivers and their passengers. For a while, the only way a driver and passenger could communicate was via SMS text messages, in-app chats, and public switched telephone networks.
Uber found that many rides that were dropped had been done so because riders could not get in contact with their drivers which this new app helps address. However, the question is whether or not this might help curb the issue of driver distraction when they try to message their prospective passengers when they are driving.
Uber and Driver Distraction
Driver distraction is a major contributor to the total number of accidents that occur in this country every year. It stands to reason that it affects Uber drivers just as well. For those unaware, driver distraction is simply when a driver’s focus shifts from the immediate task of driving to something else which puts them at a highly increased chance of being involved in an accident.
When most people think of distracted driving, texting while driving comes to mind. This is not incorrect but distracted driving is a behavior that can consist of a variety of different things. Things like eating while driving, looking through a bag, setting up a GPS, and even talking on the phone are considered distracted driving. Some people like to think they are capable of multitasking but it has been continually proven that attempting to undertake two tasks at the same time results in both of those tasks being performed significantly less well. It is a deliberately risky behavior that puts people on the road at risk.
Uber VoIP Feature and Distracted Driving
This is the cause for concern with this new feature and Uber giving a feature on their app to speak to their passengers. Technically there is nothing wrong with the app feature when the assumption is that drivers will not be trying to call and conversate with their passengers while they are not in the middle of driving. Interacting with your smartphone should, of course, be done at a complete stop yet many Uber drivers still get into accidents because of distracted driving habits.
While speaking over the phone may not be quite as distracting as outright texting while driving, it is still reckless and endangers people on the road. Uber also has made it so the VoIP functionality is accessible directly through their app which makes it all the more simple to start a conversation while driving on a busy road.
Distracted Driving Uber Accidents
When an Uber driver is distracted and causes an accident then there is a chance that it will cause severe injury to all involved. Those that sustain severe injury because of the at-fault uber driver will likely seek compensation for the significant damages that they suffered. To do this, they would file a car accident claim. However, Uber accident claims are slightly more complex on account of how the vehicle is affiliated with the Uber app.
Uber accidents bring up the question of what is the extent of Uber coverage. The short answer is that it depends on what the Uber was doing at the time of the accident. Was there a passenger in the uber or was it on its way to pick one up? Was the Uber in the process of looking for a rider? Was the Uber driver even using the Uber app?
The simplest scenario is if the Uber driver was off duty and the app was off and inactive. In this case, there is no coverage from Uber because the driver is not actively using the app. If the Uber driver was on their way to pick up a passenger or had one in their vehicle, then Uber would provide up to $1,000,000 in coverage for those involved in the accident. The Uber vehicle would also be covered up to the cash value of the vehicle with a $1000 deductible as long as the Uber driver has auto insurance with collision coverage.
This is probably the most likely scenario where a VoIP distracted Uber driver would cause an accident. They could be on the VoIP trying to pinpoint a rider’s location and miss a turning car that they proceed to hit.
What to do if You Get in an Uber Accident
The first thing to do if you get in an Uber accident is to deal with any concerns of health. Call emergency services or seek aid. Your health is the number one priority. If possible then take a few pictures of the accident scene, get some details of those involved and maybe some witness info if possible. Calling the police isn’t a bad idea either since a report from them can come in handy later.
One of the best things you can do is get a lawyer to have your back during the claims process. Going it alone without any knowhow of the pitfalls and tricks insurance companies may employ is a sure way to find yourself with significantly less money than you actually need to deal with the damages you have suffered. Let a lawyer provide expert assistance while you recover from any injuries.
Seek a Skilled Uber and Lyft Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been involved in an Uber or Lyft accident, then do not hesitate to contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA about receiving a free consultation on your possible claim. Our skilled lawyers have the expertise you will need to secure the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA’s offices. Please call us at 727-451-6900.
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