One-third of ride-share drivers have had a crash on the job, survey finds

  • Date: 04/04/2024

One-third of ride-share drivers surveyed in a new study reported being involved in a crash while working. Using a cellphone, driving while tired or driving on unfamiliar roads increased the likelihood of a crash, according to the study by University of Illinois Chicago researchers. 

The study, recently published in the Journal of Safety Research, is the first the authors know of to quantify the frequency of crashes among ride-share drivers, according to lead author Brett Shannon, a doctoral student at UIC’s School of Public Health. 

“It’s a relatively new profession, so there’s a lack of information around injury and morbidity in ride-share drivers,” Shannon said. The study looked at survey responses from 277 ride-share drivers who self-reported on their history of crashes and their driving behaviors.

While all drivers are at higher risk of a crash when driving while distracted or tired, ride-share drivers are uniquely susceptible to these conditions, the researchers said. They use their cellphones to get information about new passengers, for example, and they are often driving as a second job, which makes them more likely to be tired on the road.

But a bigger distraction for these drivers may be their customers, said coauthor Lee Friedman, a research professor in the School of Public Health.

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