Increasingly popular ridesharing smartphone apps such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar provide consumers with accessible transportation opportunities via their mobile devices. However convenient these services may be, a local news outlet reports that, before utilizing these ridesharing resources, consumers should verify that their chosen service complies with state-mandated safety regulations.
Ridesharing service providers use mobile apps to connect drivers who use their personal vehicles to passengers who agree to transportation for a fee. Unless these drivers have undergone the necessary background checks, safety inspections, and other regulatory processes required by South Carolina law, this may put both passengers and drivers in a dangerous situation.
Approved for-hire transportation services will hold a certificate granted by the Public Service Commission (PSC), which indicates that the individual or corporation has met required standards for insurance and has been properly inspected by the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS). Services that have registered with the PSC of South Carolina are responsible for carrying commercial insurance, conducting driver background checks, and running vehicle safety inspections. Choosing a ride service that is not recognized by the PSC could leave drivers vulnerable to liability issues in the event that an accident occurs. For example, insurance may not cover damages sustained after a car accident if a personal auto insurance policy excludes instances where a driver uses a personal car for commercial business, such as charging a fee for ridesharing services.
Be careful when selecting ridesharing services, and always choose those that comply with South Carolina laws to ensure the safety of both driver and passenger. If you are curious about which ridesharing services are covered by the South Carolina PSC, the Office of Regulatory Staff can provide you with the necessary information. For more information about insurance coverage after an auto accident, contact the knowledgeable legal staff at Steinberg Law Firm.