Sure, Ride-sharing is Convenient — But Are You Always Safe?
Last week police arrested an Uber driver charged with a shocking crime: sexually assaulting a 77-year-old Fort Worth woman.
Another Uber driver was convicted in Boston several weeks ago for having sex with his passenger, a young college student who was intoxicated.
Colorado officials have fined Uber almost $9 million for contracting with drivers who had criminal records or serious driving offenses on their motor vehicle records.
And a law professor just reported that her Uber driver tried to abduct her.
Around North Texas and all over the world, ride-sharing is booming — and with it, there are more crimes and collisions involving Uber and Lyft drivers.
That is why Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi just announced the company was putting long-overdue security measures into place.
Much-needed safety features for users of ride-share
I have been fighting for people injured by cars and trucks in the Fort Worth-Dallas area for over 37 years. Fort Worth car accident attorneys like me carefully investigate the details of collisions to prove fault and obtain compensation on behalf of the injured parties.
The job is already complicated when Texas passengers of ride-share drivers are hurt in collisions. And it’s a different ball game altogether when the injury is an intentional crime committed by a driver against an unsuspecting passenger.
Last week the CEO announced some new safety features:
• Uber centralized its security options within a section on its app you can check before you get inside the vehicle called “Safety Center.” Here you can find more information about safety features, insurance, and more.
• Since it’s always smart to let family and friends know where you are, Uber now lets you create five Trusted Contacts with whom you can share ride information.
• Uber has taken steps for using 911 if it should be needed. The company is building a panic button into its app for passengers and drivers that calls your local 911 resource, showing your real-time location. Uber is also piloting a direct 911 connect in some cities, so your information is immediately transmitted to a 911 operator.
• Uber is often rightfully criticized for its lack of driver screening. Although the company conducts a background check, it has refused to do fingerprint checks. Uber now says it will conduct annual criminal and motor vehicle checks on names and license numbers.
• Using new data sources, Uber is putting a system in place that will notify the company of new criminal offenses committed by drivers to better screen its driver pool.
• To enhance its expert resources, Uber named former United States Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson as Chair of its Safety Advisory Board.
Will these steps reduce the risk of driving with a stranger?
Hopefully. Of course, criminal acts against passengers are rare — but they obviously should not happen at all. These new measures will help stop them from happening and give people much needed safety measures should they continue.
Our firm has successfully prosecuted cases against Uber, Lyft, and taxicab companies for auto collisions and understands how to get our clients the compensation they deserve. Uber and Lyft have insurance policies of $1 million to pay for the medical bills, lost wages, pain, and other damages their passengers sustain.
Please contact us if you need more information.