DALLAS, Texas. According to NPR, a recent study found that Uber and Lyft drivers earn a measly profit of $3.37 per hour. These low profits can have major implications for driver safety and road safety. If drivers are making this little per hour, they may need to drive longer hours in order to make ends meet. They may also need to work more than one job, meaning that they could be getting behind the wheel while tired or fatigued. If drivers must work longer hours to pay their bills, they are more likely to be fatigued, more likely to be distracted behind the wheel if they use their cell phones to stay in touch with friends and family, and may also be more likely to be stressed while driving.
MIT found that many Uber & Lyft drivers actually lose money by driving on the platform. The study considered driving expenses such as gas, insurance, and other costs when determining the average profit for Uber and Lyft drivers. As many as 30% of drivers may be losing money when all the expenses of driving are considered. However, drivers may actually be taking more money home because they can claim tax breaks for every mile they drive. Yet, even with tax breaks, drivers may be struggling to make ends meet.
According to QZ, only 4% of drivers remain with ride hailing companies longer than 12 months. This rapid turnover may mean that more drivers are inexperienced. Gone are the days of the highly experienced professional cab driver. Today, the person picking you up for your next ride may have only been on the job for a few months. This can also have a great deal of implications for passenger safety because drivers may have to juggle multiple tasks even while driving. Not only might drivers be learning the city, or using navigation software, but they may also have the ride hailing app on their phones sending notifications. All of these new distractions while on the road for new drivers can be a recipe for disaster.
So, what can passengers do to protect themselves? For one, in cities that offer traditional cab services, passengers can use these services. The drivers are more likely to be more experienced and well-compensated or protected by unions. Supporting established cab services ensures that these workers continue to receive a fair living wage.
While the figures provided by the study may not be entirely accurate to what drivers take home in actual pay, drivers may be working longer hours and may not be taking the breaks they need on the job. This can lead to car accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident in Dallas, Texas, consider speaking to the qualified personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Gregg. Our firm understands that with new technology comes new and greater risks. If you’ve been hurt in a crash with an Uber or Lyft driver, you may be entitled to seek damages under the law.