Rideshare Risks for Drivers and Passengers


A few years ago people dramatically underestimated Rideshare driving opportunities. But, people also underestimated the popularity of ordering a Rideshare to get from one place to another. Tampa has had a flood of Rideshare drivers and riders as this city sees plenty of nightlife, and visitors who would rather use Rideshare then run to a car.

But of course, after the honeymoon phase with the two major Rideshare companies, the general public became very aware of the risks associated with Ridesharing. Unlike a taxi cab service that often vets their employees extensively, it seemed like for a while anybody could become a Rideshare driver. That wasn’t too far off course, and Uber and Lyft customers became concerned. But, it’s likely that the passengers aren’t the only ones at risk because there have been plenty of attacks on Rideshare drivers.

Attacks and Accidents

One of Florida’s most notable Rideshare attacks happened just earlier this year in August. Travis Smith, a local Floridian attacked his Lyft driver.  Smith was intoxicated at the time and became irate over the driver, having installed a plastic partition in the effort to address the possibility of offering protection for COVID-19.

Smith was not the only passenger in the car. His friend and that friend’s seven-year-old child were also in the vehicle. Smith faces charges for the battery as well as child abuse after the video was shared. The driver had a dashcam that filmed the interior of the vehicle, and that video footage help shed light on the attacks that frequently happened to Rideshare drivers. That boost in Awareness has caused many people to realize that the drivers are as much at risk as a passenger. It’s lucky that this attack didn’t also lead to a car accident, which could have caused injuries to everyone in the car.

How are Uber and Lyft Protecting People?

Unfortunately, there are many elements restricting both Rideshare companies from protecting drivers, but they are doing a lot to protect passengers. The company is offering distress buttons, geo-tracking, and many other features within their app that help provide a blanket level of protection to passengers. For example, suppose a passenger feels that the driver is behaving erratically or could be intoxicated and fears a crash. In that case, they can alert the Rideshare company and local authorities with one press on their screen.

The drivers have that same button, but they don’t have any further protection. There have been instances where Uber and Lyft accidents have happened because of an out-of-control passenger. The driver was in no position to drive safely while also dealing with this unruly or outright dangerous person in their car. Drivers are independent contractors, so they can not require formal training.

Who Should You Call in the Event of an Accident?

After an accident, your first call should be to 911 for emergency medical support and help from Tampa Police. Both Uber and Lyft have distress buttons for their passengers and their drivers. If you are attacked or confronted in an uncomfortable way before the accident, then you should have pressed that button which would have notified local responders. There are some situations where it was not realistic for the driver or the passenger to hit that distress button. It’s not a convenient thing when you think about the actions of unlocking the phone, finding the button, and ultimately pressing the button while under attack.

if the event was a straightforward collision, and there was nothing out of the ordinary about it other than using the Rideshare service, contact for emergency support. File a police report, notify the rideshare service, and then contact or car accident attorney to understand how you’ll have to work with the rideshare service to resolve this claim.

Contact Winters Yonker for Car Accident Attorneys in Tampa


If you were attacked while working as a Rideshare driver, or a passenger and an accident happened, contact Winters Yonker. These accidents, although not necessarily common, are dramatically different than any other type of accident in Florida. This is a situation where you were completely out of control of the incident and are likely not at all responsible for even using your PIP policy.

By contacting Winters Yonker, Tampa car accident attorneys, you can explore your options of pursuing a claim through Uber or Lyft. if you were attacked by a passenger then it’s possible that your claim could include far more than damage is done as a result of the accident, but for the assault leading to the accident as well. It’s only by working with a local car accident lawyer that you can get concrete answers about these elements of your claim. Call Winters Yonker today.

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