Uber is one of the most commonly and widely used rideshare apps today. Rideshare vehicles have become almost indispensable today when it comes to transportation options. However, over the years, several questions have been raised with regard to safety especially with increasing reports about robberies and sexual assaults while using rideshare apps. There are also valid concerns about the processes these companies use when it comes to vetting their drivers.
In this article, we will delve into some of the safety issues and concerns involving Uber and what you can do to be safe while using a rideshare app. If you or a loved one has been injured or has suffered a traumatic event while traveling in an Uber vehicle, our Los Angeles rideshare lawyers can help you better understand your legal rights and options.
Which Uber Service is Safest?
Often, there is the question of which Uber service might be the safest to use. According to safety experts, Uber Black may be the safest out there because it tends to provide the best drivers who have been rated highest by other passengers. Traditional Uber also tends to be the safest option because of the app's built-in safety features and also because the company does background checks on its drives.
Although there are a number of competitors out there, they may not all have the safety features and driver screening that Uber offers. Even in spite of these safety measures, it is important to take every step possible to make sure you are secure when you use a rideshare service.
Common Uber Safety Complaints
While Uber is the most popular rideshare app out there, there are common safety issues that arise. Some of the common complaints we hear from riders include distracted driving, where the driver is not paying attention to the road. Some passengers are also made uncomfortable by aggressive driving, speeding or when a driver takes the busiest route to get to the destination. Apart from such frustrating behaviors, here are the two most common safety complaints with Uber:
Harassment: Women often experience harassment from Uber drivers. It is important that you avoid conversations with the driver. If you feel unsafe, call a family member or friend and speak with them during your ride keeping them updated on your location. Report all instances of harassment to Uber. If you feel uncomfortable during the ride, ask the driver to drop you off at a safe location.
Unsafe or reckless driving: If you are riding with a driver who is not following the rules of the road, you should ask them to stop and get off at a safe location. You can also report them to Uber and request a different driver. A reckless driver poses a higher risk of a crash and you certainly do not want to take that risk.
Uber Safety Incidents
In 2020, even though ridership was limited because of pandemic-related lockdowns, Uber recorded 141 reports of rape on its platform in the United States. In its report covering 2019 and 2020, Uber said it received 3,824 reports of the five most severe categories of sexual assault, ranging from "non-consensual kissing of a non-sexual body part" to "non-consensual sexual penetration" or rape. Those numbers were down from the 5,981 reports Uber recorded in 2017 and 2019, according to the very first such safety report the company released in December 2019. Uber said riders were the accused party 43% of the time in sexual incident reports. Learn more by visiting our Uber accident compensation page.
Is it Safe to Go in an Uber Alone?
There is a certain amount of risk involved with taking an Uber alone. However, if you are in a position where you need to take an Uber on your own, it is important to know what safety precautions you can take. The Uber app uses GPS satellites to track your location when you are in the car. So, it would be a good idea to share your location with a friend or a loved one when you are riding alone. This makes sure someone can track you and where you are throughout your journey in the Uber. You can also keep the in-app map on during your entire journey so you can keep an eye on whether your driver is sticking to the route.
How Safe is Uber at Night?
If you are taking Uber at night, take some additional precautions. Never get into an Uber when you are intoxicated and are not aware of your surroundings. This could tempt someone to take advantage of your situation. Always match the vehicle's license plate with the one in the app and make sure the driver's name and photo match. This helps ensure that you are getting in the right car. If you feel unsafe at any time, call 911.
Is Uber Safer Than a Taxi?
Generally speaking, Uber and taxis are both relatively safe. There are a few small differences between how Uber and taxis are run. Uber and taxi companies conduct background checks on drivers. Uber doesn't employ its drivers. But taxi companies employ their drivers and do routine background checks on them. On the other hand, Uber has GPS monitoring, which many taxi companies lack. So, regardless of whether you are taking a taxi or an Uber, it is important to remain vigilant.
Is Uber Safe for a Teenager?
It is not advisable to allow children or adolescents to ride an Uber on their own. Children cannot create or use an Uber account because only those 18 and over can call and use Uber services. Anyone under the age 18 must be accompanied by an adult if taking an Uber. Although there are some rideshare apps that allow children to use their service alone, Uber strictly forbids it. It is never a good idea to have a child riding with a stranger. Children and teens also do not have the life experience or the maturity to react to emergency situations putting them at risk.
Tips for a Safer Uber Ride
Check the driver's identity. Make sure you confirm your driver's name, the license plate number and make and model of the car. You need to make sure you are getting into the right vehicle. Also, have the driver confirm your name.
Choose a safe location for pickup and drop off. Stay inside until you see your ride outside. This will limit the amount of time you spend outside, alone. Also, make sure your drop off location is a safe one that is well lit and not isolated.
Buckle up. Always wear your seatbelt when you are in an Uber, or any vehicle.
Share your ride details. Whether you are riding alone or with a friend, be sure to share your ride details with a friend or loved one. Send the driver's name and license plate to someone you trust. Uber also has a "share trip status" function that allows you to give your friend an estimated time of arrival for your ride.
Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at any point in the journey, call 911 or have the drive drop you off in a safe location. You can also request a different driver from Uber.
Contacting an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or have been involved in a traumatic event while riding an Uber, the knowledgeable Los Angeles Uber accident attorneys at the Vaziri Law Group can help you understand your legal rights and options. We understand the nuances of the law when it comes to rideshare accidents and incidents. We will fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses while holding the at-fault parties accountable. Call us to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.