The Scarsdale Daily Voice

Scarsdale, New York

The Pros and Cons of Rideshare Services

April 27th, 2019

Without a doubt, services like Uber and Lyft have fundamentally changed the nature of transportation and employment — especially in cities around the United States. Once predominantly acquired through waving and praying a driver would see you, taxi-like services are now available at your fingertips.

With a few taps on a phone screen, riders can pay for a driver to transport them to locations previously difficult to navigate due to parking, traffic, and more. This transformation of on-demand transportation has not come without its drawbacks. Case in point: some municipalities have banned the services or temporarily prevented them from operating in their city limits.

It is thus appropriate to compare the benefits and drawbacks of the rideshare services that are increasingly popular and increasingly pertinent to discussions of transportation, accessibility, and a new workforce:

Benefits of Rideshare Services:

  • With fewer cars to be on the road, many rideshare services advertise their implicit contributions to pollution reduction.
  • Similarly, rideshare services decrease traffic through by offering convenient and congestion-reducing carpooling services like “Uber Pool” or a service formerly known as “Lyft Line.”
  • Some people can’t afford (or don’t want) cars but can afford occasionally using rideshare services. For errands like grocery store trips, traveling solely through public transportation or bicycling can be a hassle.
  • Flexible hours for Uber drivers give opportunities to those seeking an easy, part-time gig
  • For others, the rideshare services can act as a primary form of income. This potential job offers people the opportunity to make money through a car they may already own and time they already have!

Unfortunately, not every impact of rideshare apps is positive. There is another side to the services wherein danger and negativity can bloom.

Negative Impacts of Rideshare Services:

  • Safety concerns are the largest drawbacks of rideshare apps. Unlike old taxi services, drivers are not required to undergo background checks or other key safety protocols.
  • The potential anonymity of drivers has led to prominent, though rare, cases of rideshare drivers abducting or otherwise endangering riders.
  • Rising or unfair costs for riders is another concern, as “surge pricing” takes place during high-volume moments and rides can cost several times their normal rate.
  • Another point of tension is the sometimes comparatively low rate of pay for rideshare drivers to traditional taxi drivers. Voluntary tips are incredibly important to drivers, who are charged upwards of 25% of pay by the rideshare companies

Ultimately, the negative impacts may be worth the freedom and convenience of rideshare applications. However, a consumer should know what is at stake in the debate.

Final Thoughts

Another obvious concern is rideshare car accidents that leave the driver, rider, pedestrians, and others on the road in potential peril. Thankfully, there is no evidence to suggest that rideshare services are inherently dangerous.

According to the website for The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Caffee, the arrival of rideshare services in a city can be linked to a decrease in drunk driving-related fatalities and car accidents. Among other explanations, it is estimated that the effect is due to inebriated would-be drivers relying on rideshare services to get home at night.

Top 3 Things to Do After a Car Accident

April 18th, 2013

A car accident is a very real possibility every time you hit the road. It could be a minor collision as you are backing out of your driver to a multiple-car pile-up on the highway. It therefore makes good sense to be ready for one, and that includes keeping these top three priorities in mind after a car accident.

Ensure the safety of everyone

If it is a minor car-and-car accident with no one injured, you can move your vehicles to the side of the road to prevent traffic build-up and other accidents, but take a quick picture with your phone before you do to capture the positions of the vehicles, especially if it was not your fault. This can help later if there is a dispute on whose fault it was.

If someone appears to be injured, call emergency services immediately. Do not attempt to move the injured person unless there is a threat to life or if you are a trained medical professional. Turn on your flashers, set out emergency reflectors or road flares if you have them, and wait for assistance.

If you are injured, keep calm and do not attempt to move. Call for help and explain that you are injured. Request for medical attention and concentrate on your breathing until paramedics arrive.

Document everything

It is important to keep a record of everything that happens. If you have a video camera handy, even if it is just on your phone, use it. An audio recorder is the next best thing. Failing that, use pen and paper.

Take down the name, address, license number, registration and insurance information of the opposite party as well as any witnesses to the accident. This can come in handy later when you need to get corroboration.

Make sure that the police officer is given the correct version of events, takes pictures, and makes a sketch of the scene of the accident if possible. Carefully note the accuracy of the details before signing off on it. Get a copy of the report.

If there was an injury to you or your passenger, keep all hospital and medical records and bills pertaining to the car accident. If you will ever need to claim for personal injury, these will be very important.

Contact your insurance company

Provide your insurer with as detailed an account as possible everything about the car accident

Don’t sign anything until you’ve had a chance to study the situation. You may be settling with your insurer to your disadvantage.

Being prepared for a car accident will ensure that you will not make any costly mistakes in handling the situation. You should always plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Two Arrested after Drunk Driver Causes Accident, Friend Makes a Scene

April 10th, 2013

Two 32-year-old men were arrested on Sunday after allegedly causing a car accident and being disorderly.

The accident occurred at the intersection of Popham and Post Roads at around 5:00 pm. The driver allegedly ran through a red light while traveling east on Popham, colliding his BMW with a Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee’s driver claimed that the other person was “driving like a maniac.” Both cars suffered extensive damage.

The BMW’s driver did not have his license on him. When police attempted to issue a field sobriety test, his passenger began yelling at him to not submit to it. He stirred up such a ruckus that police had to restrain him in order to carry out their duties. He was eventually taken to a nearby police station, where he was detained in a cell and continued to be uncooperative, kicking the cell’s doors, yelling at the police, and even trying to tamper with the lock. He was charged with obstructing governmental administration.

As for the driver, it was discovered that his BAC was .17%. He was charged with running through a light, speeding, and DWI. He has been released on a $200 bail.

Luckily, is seems as though no one was injured as a result of this accident.