author: everley reid | contributor
Ride–sharing apps like Uber have become increasingly popular today, and while in many ways they are helpful and innovative, they also have some serious drawbacks. Recently there have been reports of crimes involving Uber. These stories are often very disturbing and frightening. There are dangers not only for passengers, but for drivers as well, as many reports are from drivers being victims of these crimes.
One major problem with Uber and its competitors is that people can simply pretend to be someone else’s driver. This has resulted in tragedy for some. Ride–sharing apps could take precautions to avoid this, such as a code for someone to get into a vehicle. It is also important that customers take their own precautions if Uber refuses to – one such precaution would be asking the driver to verify your name.
While they can be dangerous, ride–share apps like Uber can also give the opportunity to give immediate feedback on your experience. I have friends who have had terrible experiences in taxis and have heard stories of women being sexually harassed by taxi drivers, being further dismissed by the taxi company when they attempted to complain. Apps like Uber allow the customer to rate their experience and complain if they need to. Drivers have their ratings displayed, and so do customers. This gives both parties the opportunity to effectively talk about their experience, good or bad.
Another problem with Uber, though, is that they do not require background checks for their drivers. I believe that when a person is being trusted to be alone with customers, especially in a car, they should not be hired if they have a history of violent crimes. This is not a new idea; many people have expressed anger at Uber for not having better safety regulations. It is a great danger to put someone with a history of violent crimes alone in a car with someone trusting them to take them home. Frankly, I find it appalling that Uber seems to have so little concern for the safety of their customers. I was unable to find information on whether one needs to provide a background check in order to become a cab driver, but I hope that they do.
The amount of recent crimes taking place in Uber cars or in cars pretending to be Ubers is disturbing. In many of these crimes, women are the victims. As a woman, I would definitely think twice before getting in an Uber, but I would also think twice before getting in a cab by myself, or being alone with any man that I do not know. I wish that there was a safer car service for women, but I believe that in order for that to be a reality, our culture must first shift into one that is completely intolerant of violence against women.