When it started operating in San Francisco five years ago, founders of the rideshare app-based company, which was then known as UberCab, likely had no idea that it would one day grow into a $50 billion-dollar company. Today Uber has expanded operations in 58 countries and major metropolitan areas including New York City where ride-seeking patrons have historically relied upon the iconic yellow taxi cabs.
While there's been a lot of talk about and discourse surrounding Uber's expansion in New York City, there's surprisingly very little written about the safety of the city's estimated 23,000 Uber drivers. A recent entry on streetsblog.org revealed that neither the city nor Uber are tracking the number of traffic accidents involving Uber drivers.
There is, however, compelling data related to a significant increase in the number of traffic accidents involving the drivers of black cars, 66 percent of whom are Uber-affiliated vehicles. Data obtained from the Taxi and Limousine Commission shows that, between July 2014 to June 2015, there was an 82 percent increase in the number of traffic accidents involving licensed black cars, with the number of accidents increasing from 534 to 973.
While Uber drivers are confirmed as causing or contributing to the fatal injuries of at least two individuals as well as the injuries of a woman and four children, there's currently no way to know the true safety impact of Uber's expansion in New York City.
Individuals who are injured in motor vehicle accidents involving traditional taxi cabs or Uber-affiliated vehicles may choose to take legal action. Compensation awarded via a personal injury lawsuit can help pay medical bills, account for lost wages, and cover expenses related to disabling injuries.
Source: Streetsblog.org, "23,000 Cars on NYC Streets and No One Is Tracking Uber's Safety Record," Oct. 22, 2015
Business Insider, "Here's how Uber got its start and grew to become the most valuable startup in the world," Nathan McAlone, Sept. 13, 2015