Uber has become a convenience upon which many rely. From people who need a ride home after enjoying a night on the town and a few drinks, to people who need transportation to a doctor’s appointment when their own car has broken down, and so on – Uber is a go-to source that can be fast, convenient, and inexpensive.
You can find Uber services in big cities and even in smaller towns where you might never see a taxi. Most drivers are probably honest, hard-working people just trying to make a living, or to supplement their income. Most of the time it works out well.
However, there are times when it does not.
Although Uber requires county, state, and federal checks that go back seven years, those checks do not paint the entire picture of every driver. There have been numerous deplorable incidents and even tragedies in the years since Uber was founded. Here are just a few examples:
- Individuals have been struck and fatally injured by Uber drivers
- Drivers have attacked passengers when disagreements over routes arose
- Individuals who have been racially or sexually harassed by Uber drivers
- Passengers who have been groped or sexually assaulted by Uber drivers
When a rider requests Uber service, he or she is putting their safety in the hands of someone they have never met. Numerous victims have suffered assaults by the drivers they have called on for a safe travel option. You can find many headlines in the news about Uber riders experiencing assault at the hands of Uber drivers. These alleged assaults have ranged from violent attacks to rape and kidnapping.
Any time you provide a credit card or a debit card to someone, you may face a risk that your information will be misused, and fraud can occur. From unauthorized charges on your credit card, to fare fraud, to scams –Uber riders have experienced all of these.
No one should have to endure sexual or racial discrimination or harassment – but for vulnerable ride-share passengers, it can be especially frightening. From refusal to provide service to someone based on race or religion, to hateful name-calling and sexual intimidation – any of this can and has happened during Uber rides.
Uber uses a private company to do online background checks on drivers, a method that standard cab companies have claimed is an inferior method to theirs. Uber seems to avoid doing business in areas that do require fingerprint checks. Critics believe that a background check without fingerprints is completely worthless, and that this inferior research has set the stage for Uber crimes.
To stay safe, it is recommended that riders use the Uber app’s “share your ETA” feature. As soon as the ride is confirmed and the driver is en route, users can enter their destination into the app, and share it with anyone via text message. Friends can even watch the journey on a map in real-time with the app. After the ride is booked, the app sends riders a photo of the driver, the license plate number, and a description of the vehicle, so they can recognize the ride when it arrives.