While convenient, ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber come with a serious set of problems and risks. For Uber, there have been kidnappings, assaults, robberies and even murders.
There are security features, but they don’t appear to be working. Tap or click here to see Uber’s recent security features added to its app. Uber just released its U.S. safety report, and you might be shocked to find out what’s happening.
Over the past two years, Uber reported nearly 6,000 sexual assaults. What’s behind the numbers, what else did it report and how can you stay safe when taking a rideshare?
Uber released U.S. safety report
Uber’s safety report shows in 2018 alone, there were more than 3,000 reports of sexual assault that happened during rides. That brings its two-year total to nearly 6,000. While you think it’s all focused on the drivers, 45% of those accused of various types of sexual assault were passengers.
More than 200 of those reports involved rape, and more than 90% of those accusations were made against Uber drivers. OK, so it’s obviously a major problem. What’s Uber going to do about it?
In response, the company said it will make driver background checks more rigorous, add an in-app emergency button and allow people to text 911 right from the app. Uber is also adding technology that allows it to check in with customers if there’s been an unexpected long stop.
How to make sure ridesharing is safe
Some of these moves by Uber should help, but ultimately your safety is up to you. That means verifying it’s actually the Uber driver assigned to you that’s picking you up before you get into their car.
The rideshare app will have info on the driver and what kind of car they are in, so check the license plate along with the make, model and color of the vehicle. Also, ask the driver to tell you what your name is. If they don’t know your name, do not get into the car.
Here are a few more safety suggestions when taking a rideshare:
- Share your trip details with friends or family – While en route, tap the “share status” in the app to share your driver’s information and location so others can track your trip and see your ETA.
- Avoid sitting in the front seat – If you’re riding alone, sit in the back of the car. This allows you easy access to exits on either side in case of an emergency.
- Follow along in your own maps app – This lets you make sure the driver isn’t taking you to the wrong place.
- Review the app’s safety features – Familiarize yourself with the ridesharing app so you can readily know how to navigate it in an emergency.
- Don’t share your personal info – There is no need to give the driver your phone number or any other contact details. If you need to contact each other, the app automatically anonymizes both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.
- Give feedback on your trip – If you have a bad experience, make sure to put it in the review. This will help improve the experience for others. If something major happens during your trip, report it to the rideshare company immediately.