It’s official. A study has confirmed that Florida drivers are the worst in the entire United States.
In the report published by personal finance tech company SmartAsset, the firm took into account various driver-related metrics in its analysis in order to determine which state had the most unsafe drivers on its roadways. It was the state of Florida that won the top (dis)honor.
Taken into consideration were DUI address statistics as well as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The federal agency shows that there are approximately 4.45 DUI arrests per 1,000 drivers. Officials say this statistic is down from previous years and in South Florida, the promotion of ridesharing services such as Uber have been promoted as a way to further reduce the number of DUI arrests.
With those kinds of statistics, it is likely that some of those bad drivers on Florida’s roads also end up driving for Uber. It’s enough of a concern that a recent amendment was adopted in the Florida State House of Representatives which now requires Level 2 background checks for drivers for companies such as Uber.
Level 2 background checks utilize not only name-based background screening, but also include additional measures such as fingerprinting. The cause for these extended background checks was based on a string of incidents involving Uber drivers in Florida and across the country. These incidents raised considerable public concern and caused Florida’s lawmakers to respond accordingly. Even though Uber claims that the company does extensive background checks of its own to weed out those with past driving and other offenses, government officials insisted that those measures are inadequate.
In June of 2015, an Uber driver was arrested for what was determined to be his fourth DUI. Official reports indicate that the driver had allegedly been attempting to ram another vehicle with his own. When stopped by law enforcement officers, he said that he was working for Uber and was attempting to pick up passengers.
The driver was unable to show any proof of insurance and he failed the field sobriety tests that were administered to him, prompting his arrest. (http://naplesherald.com/2015/06/06/man-faces-fourth-dui-charge-while-working-as-uber-driver-report-says/)
Uber drivers in Florida have been found to be at fault in other accidents as well – some of them fatal. In December of 2015 an Uber rider was killed in an accident that involved a Seminole County Sheriff’s patrol car. (http://www.clickorlando.com/news/fhp-uber-driver-cited-in-crash-with-seminole-deputy-that-killed-uber-passenger) Even though investigators with the Sheriff’s department determined that the 72 year-old Uber driver was at fault in the accident which caused the death of the 28-year old woman, the driver had consistently high ratings through Uber’s ratings hub. The young woman’s parents are now suing for her wrongful death. Would a deeper background check of such a driver’s background have revealed other indicators of poor driving habits? It is hard to tell since the driver in question had been working for Uber before the more stringent background requirements went into effect.
It doesn’t stop with bad driving habits. Florida Uber drivers have also had charges of assault and other crimes levelled against them. In January of 2015, a Florida passenger had a gun pulled on them by their Uber driver when the passenger indicated they might be sick in the car. (https://consumerist.com/2016/01/26/uber-driver-allegedly-pulls-gun-on-passenger-who-said-he-might-toss-his-cookies-in-the-car/) As recently as June of 2016, an Uber in Orlando passenger alleges that her driver sexually assaulted her before she managed to get out of the vehicle and report the incident to police. Even though Uber says it has terminated the accounts of such drivers immediately, is the company doing enough?
When faced with the bad driving of an Uber driver, contact a Miami Uber accident attorneys Neufeld, Kleinberg, and Pinkiert for a free consultation. They will help you sort out the details and advise you of your next steps.