Bombshell Report: Safety Concerns as Uber Drivers Browse Web, Text Behind the Wheel
Forget hailing a cab - millions of people are now using Uber to get around.
With the push of a button on an app on your smartphone, an Uber driver can see your exact location and be there to pick you up in moments.
But some people are saying the technology that makes Uber so popular can also be a recipe for disaster because drivers are using their electronic devices on the road.
Attorney Christopher Dolan represents Huan Liu in a lawsuit against Uber. She was crossing the street in San Francisco with her children in 2013 when an Uber driver plowed into them, killing her six-year-old daughter, Sofia.
"It's a system that requires distracted driving,” Dolan told INSIDE EDITION. “It requires the driver to interact with that phone. The driver was looking at his phone, and not where he was going because that's what the job required him to do. He was not paying attention to them; he was paying attention to the Uber app."
And in January, an Uber driver responding to a call ran into a New York City couple, seriously injuring Erin Sauchelli and killing her boyfriend Wesley Mensing.
To see if some Uber drivers are on their phones behind the wheel, the INSIDE EDITION I-Squad hit the streets, and started hailing rides.
We found many Uber drivers were responsible but others were not abiding by the rules of the road. One driver was texting and another was checking Google Maps. Another guy was even browsing the Internet.
The drivers had no idea the I-Squad was videotaping them inside their cars and from another vehicle.
One driver used his phone to try and find the fastest route -- again and again and again – all while behind the wheel.
Well he didn't know his final destination was to INSIDE EDITION’s Lisa Guerrero.
She said: “Sir, it's illegal and dangerous to use your phone while driving, especially when you have customers in your car.”
“Yes. I know. My apology. I was only using this to look at the map,” he said.
But that was nothing compared to one driver who was checking Facebook, browsing the Internet, and texting -- all while driving during rush hour in Midtown Manhattan.
Guerrero met up with him at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
She asked: “Why were you using your phone while you were driving?”
“I work for Uber, you know. That's how it works,” the driver said.
Uber tells INSIDE EDITION its drivers are required to obey all traffic laws or risk being banned. They said they designed the app with safety in mind and that the driver does not have to look at the phone to accept a fare.
For the families of those killed in Uber driver accidents, that's little comfort.
Attorney Christopher Dolan said: "Uber is a high tech company, why don't they come up with a high-tech solution to the danger they are creating?"
Uber reached a legal settlement with the family of that six year old who died after being hit by an Uber driver.
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