Singapore Safety Advocates Believe the Rise in Car-Sharing Accidents is Due to Driver Inexperience
According to a news report posted todayonline.com, many young people are growing reliant on car-sharing services because these services are very convenient, especially for university students. However, rideshare customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of rideshare vehicles. One student stated that he used a car-sharing service, and the vehicle was not well-maintained, and this may have been a safety issue. Now he relies mostly on rideshare services to travel.
Recent fatal crashes involving vehicles rented from car-sharing companies have experts wondering about the safety of car-sharing and whether or not these vehicles pose a safety risk.
In a recent car-sharing accident, a GetGo car struck an SBS Transit bus. The tragic accident killed the car's driver and injured seven bus passengers. A video of the accident has gone viral across social media. Last year, another accident involving a BlueSG car went viral as well. The driver in the BlueSG car crashed into a road divider.
Road safety experts think more studies are necessary to determine whether or not car-sharing is safe. At least one expert in Singapore believes there is enough evidence showing that car-sharing does cause more accidents. Dr. Prateek Bansal, a design engineering professor, stated that a South Korean study investigated car-sharing services and their impact on the rate of car accidents. That study uncovered how car-sharing worsened road safety since many drivers who use the service had irresponsible attitudes and had little respect for the car-sharing motor vehicles since they did not own the vehicles. Moreover, many car-sharing companies fail to check a driver's experience. To make matters worse, some drivers can use another driver's account even if they do not have a driver's license. These companies are not confirming who is actually driving the car-sharing vehicles.
Travel engineering consultant Gopinath Menon stated that the skill level of a driver is an important factor in determining their risk of causing an accident. Accidents typically occur because of three reasons: the vehicle, the road, or the driver. Car-sharing vehicles fall into the same category as self-drive private hire vehicles, and these vehicles must undergo an inspection every two years. Singapore has well-maintained, and vehicles are regularly inspected by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), so drivers mainly cause traffic accidents.
Car-share renters worry that these vehicles are being rented out in an unsafe state. Mr. Muhamad stated that he feels the quality of the car can affect the driver's accident rates significantly, especially if the vehicles lack proper maintenance. Car-share customers think car-sharing companies should be required to perform general maintenance practices and weekly safety checks.
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