Know how to be safe before calling Uber or Lyft


Ivy Raya

People aren’t taking enough safety precautions, which can lead to the rider being put in danger.

Uber and Lyft are accessible modes of transportation for many people. The apps provide convenience letting riders pay on the phone eliminating any cash or credit card transaction and choosing their car. With this easy accommodation, consumers lose sight of the potential dangers that may come with using this app. 

People aren’t taking enough safety precautions, which can lead to the rider being put in danger. A student from the University of South Carolina was killed in a car she mistook for her Uber. According to Birmingham Real-Time News, a man pretending to be an uber driver was found with an unconscious college-aged female, along with pictures on his phone of various similarly aged females. The New York Times states in 2018 Uber reported 3,045 sexual assaults during rides in the U.S. with nine people murdered and 58 killed in crashes.  

There have been multiple cases in which women reported being sexually harassed when using these apps. Fourteen women filed a lawsuit against Lyft that claimed Lyft drivers have sexually harassed them in 2018 and 2019. Lyft has known about the many sexual assault claims which started in 2015 but chose to keep them from the public eye. The company is also known for allowing the drivers to continue working for them and not acknowledging or looking into the claims made. 

There have been several complaints of multiple drivers who have had criminal backgrounds driving for Uber and/or Lyft. In 2014 Uber was sued by the San Francisco and Los Angelos District Attorneys offices for claiming the background checks were more thorough than they were. The company found various driver’s criminal backgrounds but chose not to prosecute or fire them instead, letting them work for the company. 

According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of people who use ride-hailing apps are young people, the percentage of college grads who have used apps such as Lyft and Uber is 55%. At night time after bars close, many people use ride-hailing apps, so while it is good people are not drinking and driving, alcohol tends to cloud their judgment, leaving riders vulnerable. 

Here are tips for staying safe when using ride-hailing apps: double-checking the information given and comparing it to the information given phone; share your status with your friends, and ask the driver their name. Uber provides an in-app emergency button which can be used to contact 911.  When using ride-hailing apps be diligent about using safety precautions.