In Pennsylvania, Uber operates their business under the subsidiary Rasier-PA. In May 2018, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) audited the company and determined their driver background check process and safety features were inadequate. There are, however, steps Uber can take to better screen drivers for safety violations and improve riders’ experiences.
Prior to working as a driver for Uber, prospects are required to undergo a series of background checks. This includes their personal information, employment history, motor vehicle record, and criminal record. All the background checks are conducted by Checkr, and a team from Rasier-PA evaluates the results to make a final decision. Once the person has been cleared, they can activate their driver profile and begin accepting rides.
While this sounds comprehensive, there’s the possibility for violations to arise later in a driver’s employment without Uber ever knowing. The person will continue to drive for Uber without the company knowing they are no longer eligible, which puts passengers at risk. This was one of the main deficiencies the PUC identified.
In order to correct this issue, a number of solutions were recommended. First, it would be a good idea to have a continuous monitoring service in place. This would inform Uber of any issues and allow them to conduct their own investigation and deactivate a driver if necessary. Additionally, they should consider expanding the geographical area they check for each potential driver in order to reduce missed information. Finally, fingerprinting prospective drivers could reduce the risk of false positives or negatives for background checks conducted with Checkr.
There’s also the chance Uber could hire a reckless driver that used to work for a different rideshare company. To protect themselves from drivers who have been deactivated from other rideshare companies, PUC recommends the creation of a database of all deactivated drivers and riders. This would ensure a deactivated driver from Lyft wouldn’t then be hired as a driver for Uber.
In addition to the screening process, the PUC reported weakness with safety initiatives, the complaint system, and company-wide goals. Uber should consider ensuring their safety initiatives are introduced to all users, instead of only those in select markets. In order to complete investigations accurately, Uber should find ways to use their technology to reduce the amount of incomplete information. This could include requiring dash cams or collecting feedback from devices. Overall, the Uber system could benefit from implementing performance goals and tracking metrics to ensure their passengers are receiving the best service possible.
Our nationwide lawyers recognize how overwhelming it can be to deal with an accident involving a rideshare company. Confusion regarding policies, insurance companies, and liability often comes into play. In order to recover as quickly as possible, it’s crucial to contact our attorneys. We’ll provide you with the legal representation you need to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. Reach out to us today to learn more about your options.