Driver Distraction - More than Meets the eye

Driver distraction is a real problem facing NYC for-hire transportation market. The number of accidents involving Black Car (a/k/a Uber drivers) is staggering compared to the statistics without them. But the main problem is not just the accidents and injuries caused thereby, but the government's reaction and the  implications to the consumer. First, the NYC TLC just recently instituted new "Driver Fatigue" rules limiting the number of hours a driver can operate. So while the TLC thinks the roads of NYC will be safer with drivers operating less frequently, the TLC also has a rule that permits a driver to accept dispatches from more than one base and to use more than one smartphone/tablet device to obtain dispatches. So according to the TLC, a driver should be limited in the number of hours they work, but it is OK for them to look at 2 different devices while operating their vehicle. Technically they are not supposed to do this, but lets be real. Drivers are doubling up and using two apps to get a dispatch from the first company that offers it. The TLC is blind and dumb if they don't see this. Also, the implications to the consumer are not so obvious, but are equally disturbing. Think about it. A driver can accept a dispatch from Company A and be on route to pick up the customer, and then receive a more lucrative dispatch from Company B (Uber) and simply not pick up customer #1 and leave them stranded in order to pick top customer #2 (the Uber customer). If you are the Uber customer (customer #2), you are not likely to know this or care, but if you are customer #1, then you will be left stranded and without transportation. Or company #1 will send a dispatch to another driver who will accept and perform the job, but will surely be late in picking up customer #1. Whether customer #1 is left stranded or the driver is late, customer #1 will surely be completely disgusted by company #1. Now remember, the driver is an independent contractor, so company #1 can not mandate that the driver pick up customer #1 and as such, when the driver leaves customer #1 stranded, company #1 is left to deal with the unhappy customer who ultimately is late for work or late for a meeting, leaves a nasty review on Yelp or some other social media and makes complaints to company #1 and the TLC. Company #1 is left to deal with the unhappy customer who was left stranded due to no fault of their own. The government regulators, who created this whole mess to begin with by allowing drivers to accept dispatches from multiple base stations, does not even consider the fact that drivers are causing accidents because they are using two different devices to obtain dispatches, all while driveling the vehicle. The effects of an accident from this type of driver distraction is obviously, but the driver that leaves customer #1 stranded to pick up an Uber customer has a more far reaching effect........this causes a total erosion of the good will most of the car services in NYC have built up for decades before Uber was ever born. So the next time you are left stranded without being picked up or the driver is late for a pick up, remember that there is more going on than meets the eye....and also don't forget, remember that Uber has more accidents than any other licensed base than any other in NYC. So if you are customer #2 and don't care about what happened to the customer #1 above, then you better make sure you are strapped in and have good insurance of your own because customer #2 (aka the Uber customer) is more likely to be involved in an accident in an Uber vehicle than any other for-hire vehicle on the road  Keep that in mind when you book your next ride with Uber.