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COVID and Increase in Uber Eats Drivers

Posted by Jeremy Rosenthal | Aug 19, 2020 | 0 Comments

Rideshare requests are starting to pick up again in Colorado and across much of the country. COVID-19 was responsible for a big drop in Uber rides, declining almost 70% over the past year. However, the stay-at-home orders were also responsible for a huge jump in Uber food delivery. With more Uber drivers zipping around town picking up and dropping off meals, cyclists, passengers, and other drivers on the road may be at increased risk of an accident.

More Time in Traffic and Hurried Drivers

Using a 3rd party driver to pick up and deliver food generally requires more miles and time on the road compared to the user ordering and picking up the food themselves. Drivers who work as food delivery service drivers for a general area may have to run across town between deliveries, something referred to as “deadheading.” 

According to the Denver Post, the amount of time rideshare drivers were deadheading, or driving around without a passenger or en route to pick up a rider, was at least 40% of their time. 

Additionally, regular Uber drivers are basically at the mercy of traffic for getting to and from destinations on time. UberEats drivers are at the mercy of traffic and restaurants, which may put them in a time crunch because of delays with food preparation. A late delivery could mean a negative review and loss of income. This is a time pressure that may make Uber drivers more likely to speed or break traffic laws to finish their delivery.

Uber Eats Accident Insurance Coverage

There are often a lot of questions when an UberEats, Grubhub, or DoorDash driver is involved in an accident. Who is responsible for the accident and what insurance limits apply? Even Uber drivers may not be sure which insurance policy applies, depending on whether the accident happened on the way to the restaurant, during delivery, or just after the food was delivered.

There are a number of message boards where UberEats drivers post questions and discuss common concerns, problems, and issues, including Facebook, Reddit, or sites like uberpeople. A review of these sites is concerning for average drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists who share the road with these drivers. Drivers talk about denying working for Uber after an accident, not telling their insurance company they are delivering for UberEats, and general confusion over their liability in an accident.  

Uber Eats Deliveries More Than Double 

UberEats is the company's food delivery service. Partnering with thousands of restaurants around the world, the app allows users to place a food order and pay through the app. An UberEats driver can accept the order, go to pick up the food, and deliver the food to the user. 

Uber eats is available in more than 45 countries and 6,000 cities, including DenverBoulder, and Aurora. According to Uber's earning reports, the UberEats part of the company had $6.96 billion in gross bookings for the second quarter of 2020, ending June 30th. UberEats experienced an increase of 113%. 

According to Uber's CEO, “The COVID crisis has moved delivery from a luxury to a utility.” The company sees food and product delivery as a potential area of continued growth and has announced a plan to buy another on-demand delivery service, Postmates. UberEats has the 2nd largest share of food delivery, with Postmates at number 4. The leader is DoorDash, with Grubhub in 3rd place.  

Pressure on UberEats Drivers

Many UberEats drivers feel pressured to get the delivery done as fast as possible, and sometimes, at all costs. An UberEats user in the UK recently reported getting her McDonald's delivery handed to her with blood dripping on the bag. Megan Dwyer said her driver appeared to have caught his fingers in the car door and handed her a fast food bag with drops of blood splattered across, saying, “I'm sorry.”

Not surprisingly, Uber offered an apology but nothing more. It was only after the user reported the issue to the news that Uber contacted the user and offered a refund.  

If you are injured in an Uber accident, as the driver, passenger, or as a pedestrian, consult with an experienced Denver rideshare accident attorney.  Contact today at 303-642-8888 for a free consultation.

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenthal

Attorney Jeremy Rosenthal is dedicated to helping his clients seek just compensation for their injuries regardless of the lengths he has to go to or the distances he may have to travel in order to get it.


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