We’ve always been told not to get into cars with strangers. While it’s great advice, advancements in technology have made getting into a stranger’s car into a commodity. It’s not exactly a bad thing—more people than ever before have access to reliable transportation for a relatively low cost. But we’re still left with a question: Is it safe to be in the car with this person?
More recently, Uber has been in the news with problems concerning safety. Some drivers reportedly physically and sexually assaulted their riders, others have gone off route and scared their riders so badly that they get out of the car and call for help. On the more serious end, a rider mistakenly got into a car who she thought was her Uber and was murdered by the driver posing as her Uber driver. To combat having more unacceptable scenarios that put their riders in serious danger, Uber has tightened their driver screening process.
What Does the Driver Screening Process Include?
With all of the concerns about rider safety, Uber had to make some changes to their vetting process for drivers. Their outline of their driver screening process is on their website for transparency. According to them, a driver must go through this process in order to be eligible to transport passengers through their service:
- Background check before first trip. The background check includes a Motor Vehicle Record review as well as a criminal background check. Uber also follows state and local regulations for background checks. For example, in New York City, Uber drivers are required to get fingerprinted because they must follow the same guidelines as taxi drivers.
- Ongoing background checks. If an active driver commits a criminal offense, Uber will review the citation and reassess their eligibility for driving.
- Annual background checks. Drivers must submit their background checks every year to show that they are still eligible to drive.
- Ongoing identity checks through photo validation. Uber wants to make sure that you are who you say you are. Drivers are required to take a photo of themselves through the app to prove that they match their photo on file. The photo on file comes from official documents, like a driver’s license.
- Enforcing community guidelines. Uber’s community guidelines outline that they expect respect, safety, and lawful actions. If a driver is reported as violating any of these guidelines, Uber will review the notification and take necessary action.
- Applying feedback from riders. Riders are able to rate their drivers and leave comments on how their trip went. If a driver is getting back low ratings and negative recent feedback, Uber will look into the driver and reassess. If a driver’s rating is below the average driver rating in their city, they will no longer be able to access the app.
In the past, Uber didn’t have a great screening process for their drivers, but the updates listed above show great strides in ensuring the safety of their riders. So while getting into a stranger’s car can still make you feel uneasy, now you at least know that they’ve been properly screened and approved to drive others.
The backgrounds of Uber drivers can help keep you safe, but still, accidents happen. Even the best drivers can get into a collision every now and then. If you’ve gotten into a wreck with an Uber driver, it can be difficult to fight a legal battle with a large corporation. At Rideshare Law Group, we can support you through this tough process and will stride toward a successful outcome in your case. Reach out today so that we can start discussing your potential claim.