While vaccine are available for people to help prevent the dangerous symptoms and effects of COVID-19, the nation’s vaccination rates still aren’t high enough for Uber and Lyft drivers to feel safe going back to work in full force. There are still concerns about transmission and getting sick, and drivers are turning to other ways to participate in the gig economy than giving people rides.
Many people are still staying home and are ordering groceries and meals, which provides drivers an opportunity to deliver these items to their doors, without risking any contact with users. While drivers may have found this works for them, one way it’s affecting those trying to use Uber and Lyft is that it’s raising the rates for a ride and there are longer wait times.
Even with increasing rates that drivers could be making if they choose to drive people to their destinations, the risk of catching COVID-19 is still preventing people from returning. The rising rates also aren’t guaranteed to provide drivers with a major share of the pay. One driver has noted that they used to make 80% of the fare, and is now seeing percentages like 20-40% of the fare. The increased danger and less pay could push drivers to seek other options.
There are also factors of the wear and tear on their vehicles. Driving to provide people with rides could mean driving around for hours to see if someone requests a ride. Then the driver needs to get to them to pick them up and take them to their destination. Compared to delivering food, the driver can greatly reduce how much time they’re using gas, oil, and putting stress on their car.
Some rideshare drivers may have shifted from the gig economy and will not return. Others may be holding out so the companies will provide them with more benefits. Funding for education and reducing driver costs are two that could be implemented.
It’s possible for drivers to see changes in the fall and winter with rideshare companies. These changes could provide more incentives for drivers to return to driving. However, with COVID variant cases rising and the number of vaccinated people has stopped dramatically increasing as it did in the summer of 2021, the risks of getting the new variant strain could prevent drivers from getting behind the wheel again.
Use of Uber and Lyft may have decreased, but people still do use these apps to travel. If you’ve been in a rideshare accident, reach out to our office today. The Rideshare Law Group is ready to help.