Are Rideshare Options Like Uber and Lyft Safe for Passengers and Drivers?
Are Uber and Lyft safe? That’s the question on a lot of people’s minds as they consider rideshare options over taxis or car ownership. The statistics show that Americans are using rideshare services more and more as the years progress since their inception. And while 99% of Uber and Lyft rides end without incident, there is still a small number of trips that end horribly for passengers or drivers. To say nothing about the fact that Uber and Lyft are linked with numerous auto accidents across the country, there are also many assaults, thefts, and other criminal offenses that take place in Uber and Lyft rides.
According to the Uber U.S. Safety Report, there were 20 total fatalities and over 3,800 sexual assaults in 2019 and 2020. Between 2017 and 2019, Lyft received 10 reports of fatal physical assaults and a little over 1,000 reports of sexual assaults.
In a statement to USA TODAY, the rideshare company Uber claimed they take “every single report seriously.” They continued, “There is nothing more important than safety…” But be that as it may, some of these incidents continue, and many people are rightfully concerned.
What Are Various Safety Tips for Rideshare Passengers in California?
The following are tips for riders taking a rideshare trip:
- After you order your ride, wait indoors for the car to arrive. This is especially wise when awaiting your ride at night.
- Verify your ride when it arrives. Check the license plate number and make of the vehicle to verify that it matches the information on the app before you enter the vehicle.
- Let family and friends know you’re planning to take a Lyft or Uber ride to your destination. You have the option of sharing a link that will provide details about your trip to the recipient.
- You may elect to inform your driver that you are sharing trip details with someone. This is not strictly necessary, but it may deter criminals from acting if they know there’s a higher likelihood of them getting caught.
- Sit in the back seat of the car, if possible. Make sure your seat belt is securely fastened.
- Remember that it’s OK to plan for the worst. Have a plan or a signal for yourself and other passengers to communicate quietly so that you can remove yourself from a dangerous situation if you ever feel unsafe.
- And finally, trust your instincts. If you feel that you are in danger, ask the driver to pull over and end the ride. Additionally, remember that there are emergency options available on Uber and Lyft apps.
What Are Some Safety Tips for Rideshare Drivers?
Drivers may face threats from their passengers as well. The following are tips for rideshare drivers:
- Remember to screen your passengers. Both Uber and Lyft allow drivers to see passenger ratings before deciding whether to accept a fare. Don’t be afraid to pass on a rider if you don’t trust their star rating. Many rideshare drivers have a cut-off of 4.5 stars.
- If you ever have the unfortunate occurrence of driving an unruly or dangerous passenger, give them a low rating so that other drivers know to stay away.
- Prepare for different potential scenarios wherein passengers act out or become violent. By having a plan, you can better avoid panic should the worst happen.
- Anxiety can be your friend in situations where you are driving strangers around the city. If you ever feel unsafe, you have the right to pull over in a populated area and ask the passenger to leave your motor vehicle.
- Make sure that you are carrying adequate insurance. Rideshare insurance exists for drivers working for Uber or Lyft.
How Are Lyft and Uber Responding to Safety Concerns?
Both Uber and Lyft are taking steps to make their rideshare services safer for riders and drivers alike.
Uber now offers live help from a safety agent on the app, brought to you by ADT security. Now, if an individual ever feels uncomfortable on their ride, they can contact a safety agent, even if they aren’t yet in an emergency situation. If the situation should escalate, the ADT safety agent can call 911 for you.
Additionally, Uber offers an emergency button on their app, which contacts 911 if you ever need urgent emergency help. This option will show your live location, vehicle information, and license plate number, which can be shared with the emergency dispatcher so that they can get to you faster.
Before anyone is allowed to drive for Uber, they must first undergo a comprehensive safety screening. These screenings check for issues, including past instances of assaults or impaired driving.
Similarly, Lyft has taken steps to improve its safety standards. Drivers must undergo annual background checks before they are allowed to continue driving motor vehicles for Lyft. Additionally, Lyft monitors criminal convictions of their drivers and will deauthorize drivers to work for Lyft if such convictions arise. Drivers also must complete a safety program developed by RAINN, an organization dedicated to anti-sexual violence.
Lyft monitors unusual activities, such as long stops and deviations from planned routes. If anything out of the ordinary is detected, the Lyft app will contact the passenger to see if help is required. Additionally, passengers can schedule a check-in to confirm that they have arrived at their destination safely.
With Lyft, your privacy is always protected. You can anonymously rate drivers, and if you ever rate them three stars or less, you will never be matched with them again.
Like Uber, Lyft has forged a relationship with ADT professional security. If you ever feel unsafe, you can connect with an ADT agent discreetly from your app. If necessary, the ADT representatives can alert local authorities about your emergency.
Contact Us to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation Today
Rideshare companies offer convenience to passengers and a means to make money for drivers. But these transactions can be fraught with peril, especially when the wrong person gets in the car. If you ever feel unsafe, it’s imperative that you use the safety options available to you.
If you have the unfortunate occurrence of having been in a rideshare assault or theft, please contact our California law offices to discuss your case in a free consultation. You may contact our offices at 909.325.6185.