Rideshare drivers, protecting yourself after a car crash

For rideshare drivers, your car is your money maker. Getting into an accident –  whether you are at fault or not – is traumatic and costly. The moments following the accident are extremely important in protecting yourself, determining fault, and providing speedy return to the road. But what exactly should you do?

The very first thing is to make sure everyone is okay and no one requires immediate medical attention. If someone is injured, call 911. Furthermore, you will need to let Uber or Lyft know about the accident through the app but this does not need to happen right away.

According to the law firm Ury and Moskow, LLC., there are 10 steps to follow:

  1. Do not drive away, but do drive out of the flow of traffic if possible.
  2. Protect the scene – flares and hazard lights if you have them.
  3. Call the police – whether there are serious injuries or not.
  4. Make an accurate record of what happened, whether it is with the officer or on your own.
  5. Take a lot of pictures or video of the damage and the accident location from multiple directions
  6. Exchange information. This should include taking a photo of driver’s license, car insurance details, and contact information for all drivers, passengers as well as any witnesses. 
  7. Promptly report the accident to your insurance company.
  8. Seek medical attention even if your injuries aren’t apparent.
  9. Keep excellent records of the event.
  10. Contact an attorney as needed.

Generally speaking, you do not want to accept fault or place blame while at the scene and when everyone is still reeling from the incident. Fault should be determined after examining the evidence (videos, photographs, maps of location, etc), when you’ve had time to really understand exactly what happened. Generally the police or your insurance company will make the final decision.

Rideshare rider requests are up in Asia and South America, is North America next?

We have all heard of the financial woes of Uber. As far as ridership, Covid 19 has meant few people taking rides, especially here in the US. 

According to a recent article by investor.uber.com, Uber had a net loss of $968 billion last year. However, Uber did see its gross bookings(Uber rides) increase by 16% in Q4 over Q3. Riders are starting to come back online. This growth was mostly seen in South America and the few remaining Asian countries where Uber still exists like Singapore.

As Covid-19 vaccinations increase over the next several months one can expect the economy to improve. According to USAToday, the US economy is due for a bounce back. With an improved economy, one can expect ridership will increase here at home, let’s hope!

Next week: Uber may bring ‘Prop 22’-style gig work standards to the EU

Contacting driver support for both Uber and Lyft

We’ve all had issues while driving on our rideshare platforms. More often than not, we need to reach out to support. Both Uber and Lyft have more than one way to contact them. Below are the most up to date ways for drivers to contact support on either platform.

Uber

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on the hamburger icon(3 bars) in the upper left-hand corner of the app
    • Click on “Help”
    • Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click on “Call Support”
  • By phone: 800.593.7069
  • Email: support@uber.com
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/uber/
  • Twitter: @Uber_Support
  • Greenlight Hub: To book an appointment at a Greenlight Hub that is open click here

 

Lyft

  • Through the driver app:
    • Open the driver app
    • Click on help
    • Search for a topic with the “Contact us button”
  • Online: help.lyft.com
  • Twitter: @AskLyft
  • The Hub: to find an office in your city go to https://www.lyft.com/hub/hours

Contacting support can require patents. Getting your issue resolved in your favor may require calling support multiple times and speaking with different representatives each time. Finding the right representative can mean the difference between success and failure.

Are there some good deals on new cars during Covid-19?

If you are in a good place financially, right now may be the best time to purchase a new car. Car sales are down dramatically as a result of Covid-19. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales are down 34% in the second quarter vs last year. Automakers are offering all kinds of incentives to get you into their showrooms.  

Car and Driver has a full list of deals being offered but here are some of the top picks:

  • Chrysler – 84 months of interest-free payments on their brands which include Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram.
  • General Motors – 84 months interest-free on most of their models and buyers can opt to defer the first 4 months of payments
  • Honda – buy or lease a new car and receive a $1000 credit, and you can defer the first 3 months of payment
  • Mazda – Deferral payments for up to three months and 0.9 percent APR for up to 60 months on select new vehicles. Returning owners can qualify for a $1500 credit toward any new-vehicle purchase or lease.

These are just a few of the deals out there but there are many more and new incentives seem to pop up almost daily. Be sure to check the website of your favorite auto manufacturers as well as your local dealers.

*previous posted on Aug 3rd

Tomorrow: The top 5 care tips for summe

Are you getting enough tips?

If you are driving for a rideshare company you are likely doing it to make money and not as a hobby. One way to boost your income is through tips. This topic is one that really gets people talking but is worth the discussion.

I belong to several rideshare groups and I often read how frustrated drivers are with their riders and rideshare companies. They often feel that the payment they receive by completing the ride does not warrant any kind of service above the bare bone basics.

PBS has an article about why people tip, and it seems like the size of a restaurant bill is the number one way to affect how much of a tip someone will leave. But since we as rideshare drivers who have no influence over the size of the payment, what can we do to get a tip?

I believe that just doing the bare bone basics, we are making a critical mistake. Providing excellent customer service is the reason people tip. However, not everyone tips all the time so tipping is not guaranteed. You as a driver need to accept that fact. People tip their rideshare driver based on how the driver makes them feel! A rider who had a great experience equals a potential tip! But when you provide just the basics, the payment will be basic as well – no tip. (Of course, giving the rider a bad experience will guarantee no tip, and may be costly to your rating.)

If our level of service contributes to the amount of tips we get, then we can think about it as a numbers game instead: by consistently providing great service, you will consistently get more tips.

I’ve had great success with using the techniques that can be found in 7X7’s tipping course. The course quickly paid for itself and was well worth the time.

Tomorrow: Favorite fall recipes

How clean is your rideshare car?

Before the pandemic USA Today reported that many rideshare vehicles were 219 times germier that the average taxi.  

This number may not reflect how you currently keep your vehicle but given that we are in the middle of a pandemic, it is now more important than ever we keep our cars clean for the protection of ourselves and our riders.

In a blog post dated April 2nd, we shared information on how to clean the many surfaces of the interior of your car. Gridwise also discusses this as well but they also go over the steps of disinfecting your car starting from the inside out.  

Buying a lot of different products for each surface of you can get expensive and if you are going through the steps mentioned above, things can really add up! Remember, that any products you buy as a rideshare driver are tax deductible, so make sure you keep those receipts.

Tomorrow: What campaigns has Uber and Lyft made donations to?

How to find a mechanic you can trust!

Our cars have become extremely complicated machines and are full of all sorts of technology and added safety features. All of these great advances also mean there are more things than ever that can go wrong with our cars. 

If it’s still under your manufacturer’s warranty, then finding a mechanic is easy. But if that is not the case, finding one you can trust can be a challenge.

Money talks News lists 11 key things to finding a mechanic you can trust.  Here are 3 of the best tips:

  1. Don’t wait for a breakdown – You don’t want to be at the mercy of a tow truck driver taking your car to a mechanic where they receive a kick-back for bringing your car to them.
  2. Don’t shop by price alone – The lowest price does not always mean the best deal – and the highest price does not guarantee the best job. Get recommendations from from family and friends and check out reviews when choosing a repair shop.
  3. Ask for a warranty of the repair – Any good mechanic should stand behind their work but the kind of warranty offered and its length can vary. Make sure to get it in writing.

Take number one to heart. Finding a mechanic you can trust will lower your stress level the next time your car is in need of repair.

Tomorrow: How clean is your rideshare car?

Does what you wear make a difference to riders?

Rideshare drivers come in all shapes and sizes and what drivers wear while driving is just as varied. Although neither Uber nor Lyft have a dress code, you might want to reconsider before putting on those sweatpants you just pulled out of the dirty clothes hamper.

Being a rideshare driver is more about customer service than anything else. Part of that service is not only how you present your car but also how you present yourself. We judge people everyday without realizing we are doing it. If you were at a restaurant and the waiter serving you looked like they just rolled out of bed, how would you tip them? This is true for any customer service job, including rideshare. Riders are not expecting a suit but having clean clothes is a good start. I recommend a nice pair of jeans and a collared shirt, something nicer than just a t-shirt. 

Now if you plan on driving for Uber Premium you should consider a pair of dress pants and a proper dress shirt and possibly a sports coat. People are paying for a premium service and so they expect your presentation to be the same.

Remember, you are dressing to look somewhat professional not for yourself but your rider and their tips!

Tomorrow: Benefits for gig workers

If you haven’t already signed up to do food delivery, here’s how!

According to the New York Times, Uber recently acquired Postmates as yet another way to further expand their offerings beyond rideshare. UberEats and other food delivery companies are not only a great way for rideshare drivers to generate income during Covid-19 but also safer because there is no rider.

Some Uber drivers may be unsure of how they can get started with UberEats, but it’s really quite simple once you are logged into the Uber App:

  1. Tap the status bar at the bottom of your map screen.
  2. Select the settings icon at the bottom of your screen to get to “Driving Preferences.”
  3. Tap “Deliveries” to turn on UberEats. If you accept the terms, you’ll can start receiving delivery requests right away.

To avoid making some of the newbie mistakes, check out our blog from July 15 – 5 big mistakes food delivery drivers make all the time!

If you are already an Uber driver, UberEats is the easiest for delivery service to get started with but they are not the only game in town. Some of the other app-based delivery services to try are DoorDash, Grubhub, and grocery delivery like InstaCart.

The more income opportunities we make available to ourselves the better off we will be to support ourselves and our families.

Tomorrow: Since Uber bought Postmates, what does it mean for drivers?

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