Safely Using Rideshare Services in South Carolina

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Man in car driving showing smart phone.Rideshare company Uber will be able to continue operating in South Carolina after lawmakers passed a bill requiring individuals using their private vehicles to transport other individuals for profit to comply with certain safety and insurance requirements. Specifically, the bill requires Uber drivers and other transportation network company (TNC) drivers to:

  • Carry insurance coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury, and property damage while on a prearranged ride;
  • Carry auto liability insurance coverage of $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person, $150,000 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000 for property damage when the driver is logged into the program;
  • Carry uninsured motorist coverage at all times;
  • Drive a vehicle that has passed a 19-point safety inspection; and
  • Carry a removable emblem on their vehicle that identifies when they are available to riders.

Rideshare Safety Tips
Ridesharing is fast becoming a popular alternative to the high fares of taxicab companies. However, doing this is not without its risks. Even if Uber’s problem with drivers sexually assaulting women was resolved, getting into a car accident while riding in an uninsured or underinsured Uber driver’s car can leave you with significant medical expenses and other financial losses.
Before jumping in a car of someone you found using Uber or another TNC, consider these safety tips from Uber as well as those based on South Carolina’s new law:

  • Confirm that the car and the person driving the car are the same as those contained in the app. Do not get into a car that is driven by someone that does not match their photograph, that appears to have falsified their information, or if the car does not match the description in the app.
  • Share your ride information with your friends and family. Uber’s app has a feature allowing you to send friends and family members details about your ride, including the route you will be taking.
  • Do not ride with someone who is not displaying the removable emblem designating them as available to riders. The emblem is more than simply cosmetic: if the driver is unwilling to comply with this simple regulation, chances are he or she is willing to ignore safety inspections and insurance requirements, too.
  • Go with your gut. If a situation does not feel right or seems strange, it is better to forego the ride and be safe than to put yourself in a dangerous situation. Use all of your senses to help determine if something seems out of the ordinary.
  • Leave and read feedback. If you have a great experience, let others know about it as this helps identify safe drivers for others to use. Likewise, be wary of using the services of someone who has received negative feedback.

If you are involved in an auto accident while riding with an Uber driver or other TNC driver, contact David R. Price, Jr. right away. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but you must act swiftly to protect your rights. Call (846) 271-2636 and set up your free consultation today.

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