The safety of car-sharing services was discussed by TODAY readers this week in the wake of recent accidents involving vehicles provided by such companies.
While some car-sharing users blame the poor state of vehicles, experts say drivers’ experience levels and attitudes are a more likely factor.
Readers agree that drivers would treat shared cars more recklessly since they do not own the vehicles, with many urging them to take more responsibility for their actions. However, they also say that car-sharing firms could do more to improve safety standards. Here’s a selection of comments:
“Young and inexperienced drivers; our self-centred culture of not treasuring and taking responsibility for things that do not belong to us; do anything, don’t get caught attitude; lack of monitoring by rental companies; lack of staff to clean and check the fleet vehicles, never do proper checks on the renters. First world country and third world mindset.” BEN TAN
ONUS ON DRIVERS?
“When I’m overseas, I rent a car to get to my destination if public transportation is not accessible… and I check the cars before setting off for my journey. This is my duty as a responsible driver. If the car doesn’t feel right, cancel the booking or get another vehicle… Just because you’re behind the wheel, it doesn’t mean you must depress hard on the accelerator.” JAS CHAI
“Don’t trust the car you drive; drivers must be cautious and alert.” KANNAN RENGASAMY
“Both parties are at fault — pricing structure (charged by the minute) and renters driving like bats out of hell to save a few bucks.” ALVIN LEE
“Both are to be blamed. Inexperienced drivers pose dangers on the road and increase road insurance cost. Car sharing companies increase cost of COEs (Certificates of Entitlement) and danger on the roads with poorly maintained cars.” HIYASHI KYOTOSHI
MORE SAFEGUARDS NEEDED
“Perhaps finding a way to automatically ‘record’ every journey could provide evidence if consumers are having a ‘high’ when driving a shared car. With such a mechanism, it could be possible to reward or take these consumers to task even when there are no accidents. Fewer disputes too.” EUGENE TAN
“Customers should get their deposit back only after the car rental company inspects the car.” PATRICK SOON
“Poor upkeep? Then the more the cars need to have a speed limit device installed, set at 80kmh.” RICHARD GRAYSON
“Rental should be minimum half-day, with serious reminders about accidents and excess payments, so novices would think twice before taking a car for a spin at a quick and cheap mindset. More regulation is needed to pressure operating companies to make sure they do business responsibly and not at the cost of public danger.” ZEYAR LIN AUNG
“If the car isn’t your property. And especially if you’ve bought all the necessary liability coverage, it is almost certain the driver will be more reckless and is likely to be of a riskier profile… One option is to limit the amount of personal liability a renter can be indemnified. Say the first S$8,000 of damages will be borne by the renter and this needs to be secured via a credit card.” JIMMY TNG
These comments were first posted on TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. If you have views on this issue or a news topic you care about, send a letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.