August 21, 2019

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Is Your Uber Ride Roadworthy?

There has been a lot of talk in the news recently about the safety of using Uber and Lyft, to get to your destination. The focus has highlighted alleged assaults by Uber drivers and background checks, or lack thereof, of the drivers. While personal safety is always a concern, another question you should be asking is whether your ride is roadworthy.

A recent Consumer Affairs report answered this question by measuring the tread depth of tires on cars used by Uber, Lyft, and taxi companies to see what kind of risk you take when riding in a stranger’s vehicle.

Tire tread depth is a good indicator of the level of vehicle maintenance. If vehicles tires are in good shape, it is likely that the owner keeps up with regular maintenance on the rest of the vehicle. Tread depth should be at least 3/32” or the tire is considered “bald,” meaning it is not capable of adequately gripping the road, especially in wet or snowy conditions.

The survey looked at 300 vehicles in three cities: Miami, Dallas, and Chicago. The results may surprise you. You might think that vehicles used for commercial purposes are better maintained than your personal car. The data tells a different story.

Compared with personal vehicles, Uber, Lyft, and taxi vehicles all averaged less tread depth. Personal vehicles averaged 7.58/32. Uber and Lyft both averaged 7/32, and taxis came in the lowest with an average of 6.66/32.

The good news is that, on average, the ride share vehicle tires didn’t fall below the bald tire measurement. The disturbing news is that 16 percent of taxis were found to have bald tires, 14.7 percent of Lyft vehicles, and 12 percent of Uber vehicles.

The results also varied by city. In Chicago 100 percent of Uber and Lyft vehicles in the study had safe tires, and Chicago taxi tires were 20 percent better than Miami taxi tires.

What does this mean for your ride safety? As far as roadworthiness goes, on average, your ride share is likely roadworthy, but you may want to glance at the tire tread yourself before you get into the car.

This article was submitted by Kline & Specter, P.C.

With offices in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey, Kline & Specter, P.C., is a prestigious personal injury law firm whose experienced litigation attorneys represent victims of motor vehicle accidents and defective products. We have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for our severely injured clients and have helped to change industry safety standards for the betterment of society.