New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety in the “Sharing Economy”

Posted on Jul 27, 2015 in Car Accidents

By now, most people have heard about Uber and other ride-sharing services that consumers are using throughout New York and many other states in the U.S. The services are quickly emerging to challenge classic taxicab systems and provide urban dwellers and others with options for getting from one place to another — but they also come with their own set of risks and problems that are on the radar of public officials.

A recent news story discusses some of these concerns which are coming to the forefront of the debate over how the “sharing economy” and ride-sharing services work.
“American cities are enticed by the economic growth and services that “sharing economy” companies such as Airbnb, Uber and Lyft can offer,” — according to the Associated Press story – “but officials are anxious about safety in a largely unregulated realm…”

Testing the Waters

A survey cited in this story and others shows that the majority of urban leaders want to see more of these types of programs and services in an effort to lower carbon footprints, increase efficiency or otherwise improve quality of life for residents. But they have to balance these positives with other considerations.

Some Reservations

Some public leaders have questions about the regulation of these new industries and how much interference the entrepreneurs who found them should have to put up with. For instance, there’s a debate on whether data should be collected about ride-sharing programs in order to assess levels of safety and security involved in these services.

Some people simply question the essential nature of services that let people rent personal property to others or, in the case of Uber, give rides without a professional license.

What’s at the core of much of this questioning is that the sharing economy offers ways for people to get around the classic structure of utilizing business services in a decidedly commercial context. In a lot of ways, the sharing economy is like the barter system where deals for cash or trade services don’t trigger the same kinds of tax scenarios and/or other official regulation that you typically see with business.

Looking at Safety

From an injury attorney’s perspective, the questions about ride-sharing involve the core aspects of what typically contributes to a traffic accident. They involve whether the vehicle in question was well-kept, whether the driver was trained, licensed and acting in a professional, safe manner, and whether there are any other safety precautions that were not followed to protect the customer.

Here, the question is not so much about finance as it is about making sure each person utilizing a shared service gets home safely and that these less regulated services don’t raise accident rates throughout a city or metro area.

Get Help from a New York City Motor Vehicle Accident Law Firm

New York residents injured in a traffic accident can call the law offices of Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. Our injury lawyers are dedicated to providing top-notch service to all our clients. We will keep you informed of all your legal options and rights under the law. Ask us about bringing a personal injury claim in New York City.


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