Updated: Jul 11, 2020
During my time as a college student from time to time, I found it necessary to use a rideshare service like Uber or Lyft, and one day when I was a little low on money, I even signed up to be a driver. There are some very interesting things that go on as a driver, and every driver has a story or two, but the same goes for passengers. In recent news, there have been stories of how rideshare services can be unsafe from creepy all the way to dangerous drivers.
All drivers go through a Criminal Background check, a driving record check, confirmation of Insurance and constantly have ongoing checks but is there more Uber & Lyft can do, and are there things you as a passenger can do to make the interaction safer?
What Driving Apps are Already Doing
As stated before, criminal background checks, driving records, and insurance are already checked before a person can become a Uber or Lyft driver. On top of this, Uber and Lyft have safety features such as:
Contact Information Protection
Predicting Safety Needs
These features have been added for privacy and safety of the passengers. A passenger's information will be kept private so the driver has no further contact with him or her after the session is over. Furthermore, a 911 dialing button has been added for immediate action if the passenger feels he or she has gotten to a point where they are no longer safe and need help from law enforcement. Lastly, a new update is coming soon where the driving apps can ask the passenger if they need help based on the driver stopping to early or staying at a specific location for longer than usually necessary. Uber even has an update where they constantly remind the passenger to make sure it is the correct driver before entering the vehicle. But what more can these driving apps do to increase safety?
What Driving Apps Need to Do
Although safety measures are already improving daily, more measures could be put into place for further preventing problems with driver and passenger safety. Here are some ways to improve passenger safety on driving apps.
Drunk Driving Awareness - There have been many complaints about Uber and Lyft drivers being intoxicated while picking up passengers for their journey. These apps should look into a special button for passengers to press to the driving apps can further investigate that specific driver, and then the passenger can receive a ride from a different driver.
Unique QR Codes - The driving apps could add new QR codes for the driver to match to the passenger. Only the driver and the passenger would know the correct code. This is double verification for the driving apps to have.
Premium Video Footage - Uber and Lyft could allow drivers to sign up for premium safety by including an installed camera in the car that can be viewed by Uber and Lyft while the driver is in a session. They could add an extra charge on top of this for riders who want the safest experience possible.
Ways for the Passenger to Stay Safe
Unfortunately, there comes a point when Uber and Lyft driving apps can only go so far with safety and keeping an eye on their drivers. Although these apps have reoccurring background checks of the drivers, no one know when a driver is going to flip their course of action. Here are some ways to keep yourself safe.
Share trip info with a friend - While this is something featured within the apps themselves, it is important to let someone else know where you are going and when you expect to arrive. In case something happens, someone else is watching your back.
Check Child Locks - Unfortunately deaths have happens because the child locks have been activated in the car and the passenger cannot escape. This video shows how to unlock the child locks before entering a car.
Don't Accept Open Food or Drinks - A driver who offers you food or drinks that are already open could have contaminated the objects. The best thing to do is only accept unopened water, and even then, only take it when you absolutely need it.
Pick a Ride in a Safe Space - Make sure to be in a busy area where people can see you get in the car. Someone pretending to be an Uber or Lyft is less likely to try their tricks in a public area where they could be seen by multiple witnesses.
If you have questions regarding auto collisions, or suit with a rideshare company call today to schedule a consultation with an attorney at Ankin Law. Their attorneys will examine your situation and provide an honest case evaluation. Call them today at 312-600-000.