Ridesharing app Uber took the world by storm when it launched in 2011. Since its widespread growth, the app has been plagued with safety issues. Over 100 Uber drivers in the United States have been accused of sexual assault or abuse of passengers, and worldwide numbers are far higher. In response to customer fears, Uber has added a way for users to call 911 within the app. Our Austin, Texas automobile accident attorneys explain the new 911 button and what you should do if injured by an Uber driver or in an Uber accident below.
The 911 Button
At the end of May, 2018, Uber officially activated a 911 button within the app. The emergency button is located within the “safety center” menu. It can be accessed on the app’s home screen. The safety center also provides customers with information about insurance, driver screening, and community guidelines.
Should you feel threatened when taking an Uber, you can easily swipe on the safety center button and click “911 assistance.” You will need to confirm that you intended to call 911 before the call will be put through, in order to minimize accidental calls. It is hoped that by offering customers this 911 button, passengers in danger can readily call for assistance.
Even further, in some regions, the app will automatically send the rider’s location to the 911 dispatcher. Location sharing is currently limited to a few major cities nationally. It is not yet enabled in Texas, but presumably will be expanded should it prove useful.
Protecting Yourself While Taking an Uber
When you use a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft you should take steps to protect yourself. Avoid riding alone when possible and try to select well reviewed drivers. Do not carry large sums of cash. Should you feel threatened by the driver or situation, call 911 immediately for assistance.
If you are injured in an Uber accident, you should contact local authorities. You will want to gather the name of the driver and any witnesses. You will need to call Uber to report the accident. There are several possibilities when it comes to collecting compensation for your Uber accident related injuries. You will likely be able to obtain compensation through Uber’s commercial insurance policy. Contact a personal injury attorney for assistance with your Uber accident related claim.