As North Carolina continues to operate under Governor Roy Cooper’s “Safer at Home” policy, our daily routines will continue to be impacted. At this point, we know that for our own safety and the safety of those around us, it is necessary to make minor changes to typical activities like buying groceries, seeing loved ones, working and commuting. Data shows that many people are returning ride sharing services like Uber, to get around with minimal exposure to others. If you find yourself using these services more and more, it’s important to remain aware of your personal rights as a passenger.
See some of the details about your rights as an Uber passenger.
Your right to a safe car
Regardless of your driver’s cautious driving or level of respect, you’re entitled to a safe vehicle to ride in as well. Uber makes several requirements for their drivers’ vehicles to ensure that you ride in a safe and clean vehicle. To be eligible to be an Uber driver, their car must be at least ten years old or newer – Uber will even lease cars that meet the requirement to drivers who don’t own a vehicle. Additionally, every passenger legally needs to wear a seatbelt. Never accept a ride from a vehicle that doesn’t provide enough functional seatbelts for every passenger. Make sure to always double check the license plate before you get in to ensure the vehicle is approved.
Your right to a safe experience
Beyond a safe vehicle, you’re entitled to ride with a safe, capable and respectful driver. In addition to drivers needing to meet the state auto insurance requirements, Uber also sets requirements to ensure your driver is experienced. Any driver must be at least 21, and have a clean driving record for at least three years. All ride share drivers are required to follow all speed limits, motor vehicle law and rules of the road during the entirety of your trip. Additionally, Uber conducts background checks in advance to ensure your driver has no dangerous criminal offenses.
Your right to report unsafe conditions
If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable during your ride, you should report your experience to Uber. Whether it’s inappropriate behavior, unsafe driving or even physical harm, you can and should make Uber aware of the situation to it can be dealt with appropriately. If you are injured while riding with Uber or another ride share service, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.
Since its founding over a decade ago, Uber and similar services have become a popular and convenient alternative to driving and public transit. If you use these services regularly and plan to use them even more often amid COVID-19, it’s important to remain aware of your rights during your ride. If you are harmed or injured during your ride through no fault of your own, remember that there is a legal remedy available to you.