Ridesharing services have become a popular form of transportation. Uber and Lyft account for 6 percent of all vehicle miles traveled throughout the US. Unfortunately, some people have reported serious issues with rideshare trips, from assaults to car accidents.
If you use ridesharing services, you likely want to choose the safest option. This article will discuss the laws both Uber and Lyft have enacted in an effort to keep passengers safe.
Driver Requirements for Uber
Uber is one of the most commonly used ridesharing services in New Jersey and throughout the US. The rideshare company has requirements in place to safeguard passengers.
Uber minimum driver requirements
While Uber drivers do not receive formal training, they must meet the following minimum requirements to be hired:
- Be old enough to drive: You must meet the minimum age to drive in your city and state with a full license. This means Uber drivers in New Jersey must be at least 18 years of age.
- Have driving experience: Uber drivers need to have a minimum of 1 year of experience driving in the US. The requirement changes to at least 3 years of driving experience if you are under 25.
- Have a valid driver’s license: Drivers in New Jersey must have a valid in-state license.
- Use an eligible vehicle: All drivers must use an eligible 4-door vehicle.
Uber required documents and screening
Before an Uber driver is hired, he or she will be required to provide proof of the following documentation:
- Valid US driver’s license
- Proof of residency in NJ
- Proof of auto insurance if you are driving your own vehicle
- Driver profile picture
After meeting all of the above requirements, all drivers must pass an online screening. Their driving record and criminal history will be reviewed.
Uber vehicle requirements
As a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, you want the vehicle itself to be well-maintained and safe.
Uber requires all rideshare vehicles in New Jersey to meet the following requirements:
- The vehicle must be 16 years old or newer for most vehicles
- 6 years or newer for Uber Black or Uber Black SUV
- The vehicle must be a 4-door
- The vehicle must be in good condition and be free from cosmetic damage
- The vehicle cannot have any commercial branding
Drivers are all required to have a valid auto insurance policy that meets the minimum New Jersey liability requirements.
Lyft Driver Requirements
Lyft is also concerned about the safety of its passengers and has requirements that all potential drivers must meet before being hired as a rideshare driver.
Requirements for Lyft drivers
Drivers for Lyft must meet the following requirements:
- A valid driver’s license
- Drivers must be at least 25 years old
- A smartphone that can download the Lyft app
- Drivers must pass a screening that examines their driving history and a criminal background check
Document requirements to drive for Lyft
All Lyft drivers will be required to provide the following documents before being hired:
- Driver profile photo
- Vehicle registration
- Personal vehicle insurance (showing the make, model, and VIN of your vehicle)
New Jersey has some areas that have specific age requirements. In general, vehicles must meet the following minimum requirements:
- 2008 or newer
- 4 doors
- 5 to 8 seats
- Not a salvage or rebuilt title
Drivers must display the Lyft emblem on the front and rear windshield of their vehicles while in “Driver Mode.” This is a safety feature that allows both passengers and law enforcement to identify the vehicle.
Rideshare Safety Requirements Specific to New Jersey
In recent years, New Jersey has enacted laws that are specifically designed to protect rideshare drivers.
If a driver is charged, arrested, or convicted of one of the following crimes, he or she must notify the rideshare company right away:
- Sexual offenses
- Violent crimes
- Felony crimes
- Driving offenses
- Driving-related offenses
New Jersey law also requires drivers to display a placard containing the driver’s name, profile picture, and vehicle information. The placards also contain a barcode that you can use to confirm your ride.
You can scan this placard before entering the vehicle to confirm you are getting into the right vehicle and to verify that the driver matches your ride request.
The Emergency Assistance Option Helps Keep Passengers Safe
Both Uber and Lyft use GPS to monitor your ride and will contact you if the driver goes off course or call you if the driver goes off course. This safety feature is especially helpful if you are in an unfamiliar city.
Both ridesharing companies have emergency assistance options installed on their apps. This feature allows you to see your GPS location and swipe to call 911 to be connected with emergency services.
When to Contact a Rideshare Lawyer
While popular rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft have safety precautions in place, sometimes these safety features fail. If your rideshare driver endangered your safety, a rideshare lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation for damages.
Experience the Judd Shaw Way at one of our convenient New Jersey offices. Call us 24/7 at (866) 909-6894 to set an appointment for us to speak with you.
Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.