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Have ride-share companies led to an increase in traffic deaths?

Ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft play an increasingly popular role in how New Yorkers get around. However, the rapid rise of ride-share services has not been without controversy.

A recently released study from researchers at the University of Chicago and Rice University reports a trend between cities where Uber and Lyft operate and an increase in motor vehicle fatalities. While both companies dispute the findings of the study, other studies have long debated the impact of ride-share companies on the number of serious and fatal motor vehicle accidents.

The rise of traffic fatalities since 2010

Uber first launched its services in San Francisco in 2010. 2010 also marked the lowest number of traffic fatalities on record since 1949 at 32,885. In 2017, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 37,133 traffic fatalities. The study found that after ride-share companies launch in major U.S. cities, including New York City, there is a three percent rise in serious and fatal traffic accidents.

Researchers combined data from the NHTSA with the dates that Uber or Lyft began operating in cities across the country. The study falls short of stating that ride-share companies bear sole responsibility for the increase in fatal crashes. However, the results do enhance the importance of passengers understanding the risks and what to do after an accident.

Steps to take after an accident in an Uber or Lyft

Being involved in any car accident on New York City streets can be terrifying. After an accident in an Uber or Lyft, you should first seek medical attention for the injuries of yourself or others in the vehicle. When you are able to, your next steps should include:

  • Taking pictures of the accident scene. While this may not be possible, documenting the state of the accident can help to assert the cause of the crash.
  • Taking notes of what happened. Document anything you recall leading up to the crash, including the weather, actions of your driver and other recollections.
  • Filing an insurance claim. Determining whether to file a claim with the insurer of another driver, of your Lyft or Uber driver or more will depend on the cause.

In some cases, you may file a claim against Uber or Lyft to pursue compensation for your injuries, including for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more. Understanding your rights and seeking professional legal help can assist in recovering what you deserve.

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