A woman who suffered life-changing injuries while riding in a Lyft vehicle is suing both Lyft and Uber, saying that the ride-sharing companies’ process is causing driver distraction that leads to Lyft and Uber accidents.
The woman is a 54-year-old Detroit resident named Sheila Hawkins who had contacted Lyft for a ride to a medical appointment in October of 2017. Her driver had two smartphones mounted to his dashboard, with the Lyft app running on one and the Uber app running on the other in order to ensure that he received notifications about incoming pickup requests from both.
During the course of Hawkins’ ride, the driver received a notification from one or both of the apps, and in paying attention to the notification he drove at 70 miles an hour into the back of a tractor-trailer that was stopped on the highway.
Though the woman was hurt in a Lyft accident and not an Uber accident, she is filing suit against both of the ride-sharing companies, saying that her critical injuries were a result of the distraction of their apps. In order to get fares, drivers need to be the first to respond to a passenger’s request, and Ms. Hawkins’ lawsuit accuses the companies of negligence in relying on a methodology that by necessity distracts the driver from paying attention to the road.
Woman Suffers Significant Injuries in Lyft Accident
The high speed accident left the Lyft vehicle totaled and both Ms. Hawkins and the Lyft driver needed to be taken to a nearby hospital. Ms. Hawkins suffered traumatic brain injuries and spinal injuries. She is reliant on in-home care and is unable to return to work. Her lawsuit against Lyft and Uber is seeking over a million dollars in compensation and accuses the companies have creating dangerous distractions that they know are putting passengers at risk.