In April of 2018, Uber proudly announced a new safety feature for passengers that allows riders to tap a safety icon within the app to call 911. The feature has now launched, and here is how it works.
A Closer Look at Uber’s New 911 Assistance Feature
When riders tap the safety icon at the bottom right corner of the Uber app, the rider will then be connected to a 911 dispatcher. This allows riders to then easily communicate the location of the accident since the Uber app itself clearly demonstrates where a rider is located at the time of call.
And, Uber is currently testing the idea of automatic location sharing with 911 dispatchers in seven cities, which could further reduce 911 response times with the goal of enhancing rider safety features. At present, the seven cities are as follows:
- Charleston, SC
- Chattanooga, Nashville and Tri-Cities, TN
- Denver, CO
- Louisville, KY
- Naples, FL
Uber has stated that their long-term goal is to make automatic location sharing functionality available everywhere nationwide. Uber claims that this new safety feature could help contribute to safer roads since their internal research found that determining a 911 caller’s location accurately is a significant issue after accidents.
The question, however, is whether these safety features within the app will help drivers who are in ridesharing accidents.
Will the 911 Assistance Feature Improve Rider Safety?
Since it is early days for the new feature’s rollout, it is too early to tell whether the assistance feature will improve rider safety. Even so, all signs point to an improvement if the technology works as intended.
For example, if a rider has their Uber app open at the time of accident, it is likely far faster to simply use the app’s 911 Assistance instead of exiting the app and switching to a call screen to dial 911. Law enforcement often reminds drivers and passengers that time is of the essence after a serious accident, stressing that seconds can make a big difference when injured victims are in serious need of medical care.
Viewed through this lens, the new safety feature is a welcome addition to Uber’s app functionality should it work as intended. Still, Uber itself stresses that riders should use their own best judgment on what would be the fastest way to reach 911. If a rider is already on a call screen at the time of an accident, for example, it would make the most sense to simply dial 911 without switching back to the Uber app.
While these innovations are welcome, injured passengers or non-passengers in a ridesharing accident will still be able to pursue legal compensation for injuries caused by a legally responsible party.
The policies for liability coverage and the facts surrounding ridesharing liability can become complex, which is why it helps to reach out to a ridesharing accident lawyer who will make sure you receive the legal compensation that is owed to you after the accident.
Contact The Ledger Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your legal claim if you or a loved one has been injured or worse in an Uber ridesharing accident.