Common Causes of Rideshare Accidents in California (2024)

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Many Californians use rideshare applications as second nature. Young professionals can maintain a bustling lifestyle in metro areas without using their own cars. While these services offer a convenient alternative, accidents can happen, so it is essential to be aware of risks. Learning the common causes of rideshare accidents in California can ensure your preparedness when you rideshare in the state.
Being a more vigilant passenger can help you advocate for your well-being during every ride. Here is why some of the most common car accidents happen.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Rideshare rides are no exception. Uber and Lyft drivers often use GPS navigation to route themselves in unfamiliar areas. The distractions induced by these apps can overshadow their usefulness. As a passenger in an Uber or Lyft vehicle, you might see your driver input new addresses, respond to future passenger messages, and adjust their navigation app. Additional instances of distracted driving could be:

  • Messaging or speaking on the phone,
  • Eating or drinking, and
  • Reaching for items elsewhere in the car.

When rideshare drivers take their eyes off the road for a few seconds, this can become disastrous in a complex intersection.

Missing necessary traffic signals, hazard signs, or unusual circumstances can quickly result in an accident. In unfamiliar or unsafe areas, drivers might increase the risk of accidents by making sudden lane changes, taking wrong turns, or hesitating at intersections.

Driver Fatigue

Rideshare drivers can earn more income when they work longer hours. While this can contribute to increasing their earnings significantly, it can lead to them pushing beyond safe driving limits. Drowsy driving can substantially increase accident rates with:

  • Slower Reaction Times: A tired driver can react more slowly to sudden changes, such as pedestrians appearing in vehicles changing lanes.
  • Impaired Judgment: Driving with impaired judgment can lead to risky decisions, like speeding or unsafe lane changes.
  • Micro-naps: Fatigue can result in micro-naps or short moments of sleep that can cause critical missteps while driving.

Using caution during peak or late hours can grant you a better chance of avoiding fatigued drivers. Signs of fatigue can include drivers frequently yawning, inconsistently steering, or having difficulty keeping their eyes open. If you notice these signs, you can politely request the driver pull over when safe. Do not hesitate to report anything you see to the rideshare company for your safety and that of others.

Unsafe Pick-Up and Drop-Off Locations

Rideshare drivers often choose unsafe pick-up or drop-off locations due to traffic congestion or limited parking options. This practice can create safety hazards, especially at night when other drivers have limited sight. Examples of unsafe locations or situations are:

  • Stops on narrow or unpaved shoulders,
  • Double parking in traffic lanes, or
  • Poorly lit areas without sidewalks.

To keep yourself safe, request your driver pick you up or drop you off in well-lit, well-marked locations when possible. Using your judgment and avoiding getting into or out of cars in the middle of traffic lanes can help prevent unsafe conditions. Politely asking your driver to find a better alternative can protect your safety if you feel uncomfortable.

Aggressive Driving

Fulfilling rides quickly can bring drivers extra cash. The temptation to exceed speed limits or aggressively operate the vehicle by tailgating or weaving through traffic can be alluring to many rideshare drivers looking for increased income. This type of driving can dramatically increase the risk of accidents for drivers and passengers. If you feel unsafe, their driving is most likely dangerous.

Irregular Vehicle Maintenance

While many drivers may get regular check-ups on their vehicles, it can take one case of worn-out brakes, faulty tires, or malfunctioning lights to cause an accident. To avoid entering a car with visible issues, report the rideshare driver and request a different driver on your app.


Q: What Is the Most Common Cause of Rideshare Accidents in California?

A: Distracted driving is one of California’s most common causes of rideshare accidents. While some people may attribute distracted driving to simply texting or talking on the phone, distracted driving can be any action that takes a driver’s attention away from their vehicle’s safe, focused operation.

Distracted driving by rideshare drivers is just as unsafe as driving alone. Reporting distracted driving may help you and someone else get to your destination safely in the future.

Q: What Are Common Causes of Rideshare Collisions?

A: Speeding and aggressive driving are among the most common causes of rideshare collisions. These actions can significantly contribute to collisions and severely damage people and property. When rideshare drivers are pressured to complete rides quickly for extra money, they may speed or drive aggressively, endangering people with and around them.

Q: How Many Accidents Happen in Ubers?

A: There is no credible and publicly available data detailing the number of accidents with Uber. Some people believe that as rideshare popularity increases, accidents will increase. No matter the number of accidents in Uber, it can be wise to use caution when using a rideshare app.

Q: What Is the Most Likely Cause of a Rideshare Accident?

A: There is no most likely cause of a rideshare accident, as car accidents can happen for various reasons. While many factors contribute to accidents, distracted driving, driver fatigue, and risky behaviors are all common causes. There is no safe way to drive recklessly, and a reckless driver, whether in a rideshare or not, can be reported.

Understanding Common Rideshare Accident Causes in California

Car accidents can happen every day due to seemingly unavoidable circumstances. Being involved in a ridesharing accident due to a driver’s negligence can feel even more confusing. If you or someone you love has sustained injuries from a rideshare accident, do not seek compensation alone. An attorney can fight for your rights if a rideshare or insurance company denies your claim or offers a low settlement. An attorney’s knowledge can be invaluable when accidents are unclear or involve multiple parties. At Kreeger Law Firm, we can fight for your right to recover damages. Whether your accident was caused by distracted driving or an extreme weather condition hazard, we are here for you. Contact us today for more information regarding car accidents in California.