Uber was founded in 2009 and has grown to be the world’s largest ride-share company with over 5 billion trips completed, and the addition of UberEats, a food delivery service. While Uber’s growth has been amazing, it hasn’t been without controversy. Taxi companies in particular have challenged their business model, which competes with their share of the transportation market. Many taxing authorities have also resisted Uber because they were not subject to the same permit requirements as cabs and limousines. It seems a lot of that has now settled down, and Uber is apparently here to stay at least for a while.
You can click here to see Broward County’s regulations website page pertaining to for-hire vehicles, which includes “All for-hire vehicles that are permitted to operate in Broward County must be inspected by an ASE certified master mechanic or AATI master automobile technician from a licensed auto repair shop.”
But if Uber is not under the same guidelines as taxi cabs and limousines how do we know their cars are safe and their drivers are competent? A Florida Statute (627.748) covers insurance requirements for transportation network companies (like Uber) and Uber’s website tells drivers:
- Depending on your city, your vehicle may need to undergo a 19-point inspection.
- Vehicle inspections are required annually. You must have your vehicle inspected at least once every 12 months.
- Please check that your vehicle meets your city’s Uber vehicle requirements before having your vehicle inspected.
- It is your responsibility to make any repairs needed to pass the vehicle inspection. Please note that passing the vehicle inspection does not guarantee access to the Uber platform.
So the next time you tap your Uber app to request a ride, how will you know if the car has been inspected and is safe? Unless you want to request the driver provide you with all his maintenance records, you’ll have to take it on faith. Personally, I use a reversed version of the old adage “you can’t judge a book by the cover” and figure if the car is clean on the inside and out, appears well maintained, if the driver seems to have a professional demeanor, then chances are the brakes and tires are ok.
We have devoted a portion of our law practice to helping people who have been involved in accidents involving taxis, limousines, and ride-sharing vehicles. These incidents involve a special knowledge of how the law and insurance coverage works, so if you have questions about an incident that concerns you, please give us a call at 954-356-0006. We’re here to help.