Is Lyft Safe Or Should I Call A Taxi?
Lyft is generally safe but you can never be too certain. We provide a list of tips on what Lyft riders can do to protect themselves along with providing laws that require Lyft to take to safeguard riders against accidents and from violent crime by Lyft drivers, other riders and criminals impersonating Lyft drivers.
What Lyft riders can do to protect themselves
As important as Lyft safety laws are for protecting Lyft riders, the following important steps and precautions can help riders maximize their safety and reduce their chance of being injured or being the victim of a violent crime:
- Before you enter a vehicle, make sure it is the same make, model, color and plate number as what was displayed in your Lyft app in response to your request for a ride
- Before you enter a vehicle, make sure his or her name is the same as what was displayed in your Lyft – and also visual confirm that the driver is the same person whose picture was displayed in your Lyft app
- If you are not comfortable with your Lyft driver’s rating, cancel your ride and submit a new ride request
- User the “Share Ride Details” feature on the Lyft app to let a friend or family member know that you are traveling by Lyft, what your destination is, what vehicle you are in (the features also allows them to follow your ride in real time)
- Wait inside a building or structure until you have received a notification via the Lyft app that your driver has arrived
- Do not ride in the front seat
- Travel in groups
- Follow your instincts – If something about the ride or the driver does not feel like a ride, then do not get in the car. If you are already in the car, then ask the driver to stop the ride. If an emergency situation arises, call 9-1-1 and/or click the Lyft app for “emergency assistance.”
To learn more, check out WZZM TV’s interview with attorney Alex Kemp about keeping Lyft safe for riders:
Driver regulations to keep Lyft safe for riders
Michigan laws and regulation for keeping Lyft safe for riders require Lyft to do annual criminal background checks of drivers as well as looking into their driving history. People with criminal records or tickets for serious traffic violations and people who do not have a driver’s license or proper auto insurance will not be allowed to be Lyft drivers.
Here are the safety requirements that Lyft must comply with:
- Lyft must conduct annual local and national criminal background checks of its drivers, including searches of the national sex offender registry database. (MCL 257.2107(1)(a))
- A Lyft driver’s driving history must be obtained and reviewed every year. (MCL 257.2107(1)(b))
- A person cannot be a Lyft driver if any of the following circumstances apply: (1) the driver has 4 moving violations in the past 3 years; (2) the driver has 1 “major” violation in the past 3 years; (3) the driver has been convicted of certain felonies in the past 5 years; (4) the driver is listed in the national sex offender registry database; (5) the driver does not have a valid driver’s license (from Michigan or another state); (6) the driver does not have proof of registration for his or her vehicle; (7) the driver does not have “proof of automobile liability insurance”; and (8) the driver is under 19 years of age. (MCL 257.2102(2))
Vehicle regulations to keep Lyft safe for riders
To keep Lyft safe for riders, Lyft drivers must get an annual safety inspection for the personal vehicle which they intend to use to transport Lyft passengers. The inspection must cover brakes, steering, lights, signals, tires and safety belts among other components. (MCL 257.2109(1))
Signage and pictures to keep Lyft safe for riders
A Lyft driver must “display a consistent and distinctive signage or emblem at all times” while he or she is on-duty for Lyft or transporting Lyft passengers. (MCL 257.2111(1))
Lyft is also required to “display a picture” of the assigned driver and the license plate number of his or her vehicle on the Lyft app before the Lyft rider “enters” the Lyft driver’s vehicle. (MCL 257.2133)
Zero tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol to keep Lyft safe for riders
The law requires Lyft to “develop and implement a zero-tolerance policy” that addresses a Lyft driver’s “use of drugs or alcohol” while on-duty and/or while transporting Lyft passengers. (MCL 257.2139(1))
On its “Zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy” page in the Lyft Help/Policies and Other Info/Trust and Safety section of its website, Lyft states:
- “Lyft has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy for drivers.”
- “If you suspect that a [Lyft] driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, call the authorities by dialing 911 or your local non-emergency assistance line if necessary.”
Need help after a Lyft accident? Call the attorneys at Michigan Auto Law
Call toll free anytime 24/7 at (248) 353-7575 for a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys if you were injured in a Lyft accident. Michigan Auto Law attorneys have spoken at national seminars and legal conferences, teaching injury lawyers across the country how to better handle Lyft car accident cases and better protect our clients. You can also get help from an experienced accident attorney by visiting our contact page or you can use the chat feature on our website.