Uber has revolutionized the taxi industry in the past few years by offering a ridesharing service where almost anyone can become a “taxi driver” in their own car in their free time. Is the service safe though?
According to Uber’s official website, Uber is an incredibly safe service because it provides door to door service, has a blind matching service that eliminates discrimination, and gives the rider information about their driver ahead of time.
Basically anyone can become an Uber driver, but they must pass a simple background check first. This background check is too simple by many people’s standards, since Uber will still hire people with misdemeanors for non-violent and non-sexual crimes. While people with misdemeanors need more job opportunities, many believe that a ridesharing service should have further safety restrictions since, most of the time, the rider is at the liberty of the driver.
Many Uber drivers have been convicted for crimes connected to their Uber experience, including sexual assault and violence against passengers. They seem to be more common in large cities, and high profile Uber cases have emerged from Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, LA, and Orlando. But when compared to Taxi or limousine services, Uber doesn’t seem unsafe.
It is actually a difficult comparison, and one that cannot be well proven, that Uber is safer than taxis since cities usually don’t group violent crimes by where they happen, and instead, they simply keep track of crime in general. For example, in Boston, violent crimes are grouped together whether they happen in a taxi, through Uber, in the home, or in public.
Fear of Uber is understandable with few regulations and little oversight in the vehicle, but there are a few steps the rider can take to make sure they are always staying safe. Riders should verify the identity of the driver, wait inside for the ride to come, inform family or close friends of where you are, and take note of the driver’s rating on the app. As with any method of transportation, service is mixed and the rider should always stay on guard. Stay safe out there!
Whether its Uber or any other transportation service, there are numerous instances where the employer did not perform an adequate background check before hiring the driver. If you are injured whether it be from an assault or from a motor vehicle wreck, it is a good idea to check with an attorney to make sure your rights are being protected. Pat McElhone has handled numerous cases involving personal injury caused by the transportation industry as well as claims for the negligent hiring and retention of dangerous drivers. Give Pat a call for a free consultation at 502-736-8100.