It can be so frustrating when you need to get somewhere urgently, and you don’t have transport. It’s why Uber and Lyft are so popular – they both offer a convenient way to reach your destination, leaving all the driving to the skilled drivers. However, recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the Lyft incident where a female passenger was sexually assaulted by a Lyft driver in Miami Beach.
As a matter of fact, Lyft is facing 13 new lawsuits for sexual assaults, and lawsuits are from both drivers and passengers. So, the paramount question is how to stay safe as an Uber or Lyft.
Let’s first take a look at who Uber and Lyft are.
Who are Uber and Lyft?
It’s a ridesharing company based in San Francisco. To ensure safety for both drivers and riders, all drivers have to pass a driving competency test, and they also undergo a vigorous screening session.
Uber operates in over 785 metropolitan areas around the world. Uber, like Lyft, also uses a light-up beacon, so that passengers can identify their ride. By 2040 they want to be fully electric – a zero-emission platform
Uber is constantly researching safety technologies to keep drivers and passengers safe
You can request drives or food by downloading the Uber app.
Safety features are built into the Uber app. A specially trained team is available around the clock – night and day – with any safety concerns.
Launched in 2012, Lyft offers its services in the United States of America and Canada.
The app for using Lyft will alert passengers to the arrival of the vehicle and also advise the passenger-to-be of what the costs will be.
Check Lyft’s website to see those cities where the ride service operates in Canada and the United States.
Before being approved to drive, drivers must pass two background checks.
Cars must be 4-door and have at least 5 seat belts.
Lyft identifies its vehicles with the Amp – a small module on the dashboard that lights up in a certain color. Passengers hailing Lyft will be notified as to the Amp color that will be arriving for them. For further safety, Lyft vehicles have a Lyft logo on the front- and rear windshields.
A variety of quality services on offer
Both also offer food delivery services. You can check out both Uber’s and Lyft’s different services and choose the one that takes your preference. They offer a number of classes of services. For instance, you can choose –
- A cheaper ride with a basic sedan.
- You can choose to travel in newer cars that have more legroom.
- There are luxury cars that can accommodate up to 6 passengers.
- It is possible to arrange scooter and wheelchair-accessible vehicles with drivers who are well-trained to assist.
There’s nothing shabby about these transport services
With these driving companies, regardless of whether you choose the most basic car to pick you up, you’re never going to be picked up in a dilapidated clunker. These companies have minimum vehicle requirements for cars and drivers in the cities that they serve.
In some cities, no vehicle over 15 years old is allowed, and nearly all of them insist on vehicles with 4 doors. Certainly, all cars have to have air conditioning as well.
Usually, the fares consist of a basic fare, but then there is the distance that also comes into the picture. Peak driving times and seasons will also increase the fare.
A troublesome incident with Lyft
In spite of all these safety measures, you have to think twice before you use Lyft. In February 2022, a Brooklyn woman’s kidnapping story went viral on Instagram with the weird behavior of the driver who picked her up. He apparently just stopped the car after driving for two blocks. After she leaped out of the vehicle, she claims another vehicle started pursuing her, as though it was involved in some abduction case.
Some people are just looking for some attention and fabricating weird stories, and there doesn’t seem to be 100% clarity on the truthfulness of this particular story.
Uber’s 2019-2020 Safety Report claims that more than 99.9 percent of all Uber rides have been reported to have been completed without any incidents. These ride-hailing services do promise safety.
Can you drive carefree with Uber and Lyft?
Unfortunately, passengers can’t drive with these companies with a carefree attitude. Lyft has had plenty of sexual assault lawsuits, in spite of the Lyft app having an emergency button. The button allows passengers to reach 911 for help if they feel threatened or in danger.
Uber is no different, despite being much larger than Lyft. They have also received a lot of negativity around sexual harassment lawsuits to harassment.
For both Uber and Lyft, when it comes to hailing a cab, awareness is your best friend.
- Be aware of fake drivers as some are managing to register themselves making use of forged ID documents.
- Check the driver’s rating before you get in the car. Both Uber and Lyft drivers are rated by passengers, so you can see how others have rated their experience before you get in the car.
- Be aware of drivers who like to take longer routes to present you with a higher bill.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Once you’re in the car, take note of the route the driver is taking. If they make any sudden or unexpected turns, it could be cause for concern.
- Report drivers who are distracted, tired, and who drive recklessly.
- Whenever you order an Uber or Lyft drive, make sure the car is marked and that everything such as the car number plates is in sync with what your app says.
- Alert family and friends that you are using one of these transport companies. There are features on the app that allow you to share your trip with a trusted family member or friend.
- You can communicate with the drivers, but don’t give away personal information.
- Trust your gut. If you feel like something is off, don’t hesitate to ask the driver to let you out of the car. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
How you can stay safe as an Uber or Lyft female driver?
There are a few things that female drivers can do to specifically stay safe while driving for Uber or Lyft.
First, it is important to screen your passengers before getting in the car. This can do by checking their rating on the app and/or asking them questions to get a sense of who they are.
Secondly, it is important to stay on high-traffic routes and to avoid picking up passengers who are requesting to drop off in a remote or unsafe location.
And finally, if you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable, you can always cancel the ride and/or contact Uber or Lyft support.
Verification of drivers should be the most important thing for these transport and delivery companies. Both of these transport companies are relatively safe, but with Lyft and Uber, you particularly want them to jack up their dismal sexual offenses record.
The number one rule when making use of these companies is to use your common sense and be constantly aware of what’s going on around you and when driving with any drivers, keep your valuables hidden – just for safety’s sake.