How safe is Uber?

Photo courtesy: Brittanica Money

Uber is the most popular app for transportation, but many users are beginning to wonder if it’s truly safe to use. 

Uber started in 2009 in San Francisco. Its 2020 safety report shows that from 2017 to 2020, there were 9,805 reports of sexual assault on its rides, including 852 reports of rape. In addition, the report says that throughout this time, at least 101 people died in collisions, and 20 individuals were killed in assaults.

According to NBC News, Uber documented 998 cases of sexual assault and 141 cases of rape in 2020. 

To become an eligible Uber driver in the United States, you must undergo a background check, provide a copy of your driver’s license, and be legally eligible to drive your car. 

Uber has many settings for riders to ensure their safety when entering a vehicle. The details on the app include the driver’s first name, rating, vehicle make and license plate number, as well as a tracker to locate where and when your driver will be approaching you for pick-up. You can also choose if you would like a silent or quiet ride. 

The cost of your ride is based on the mileage from one location to another. After your ride, you can also rate the driver based on your experience. 

Some women feel extra anxious or nervous when using Uber simply because of how much more attention they need to pay, especially if the driver is a male. Although sexual assault can happen to anybody, regardless of gender, women should be especially concerned about these incidents. Ninety percent of adult rape victims and 82 percent of child rape victims are female, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

Being aware of your surroundings is imperative to remain as safe as possible. Small details include what clothes your driver wears and sharing your ride with friends so they can also see where you’re going. 

Lalah Choice, a junior at Florida A&M University, said, “I usually feel safer when I have a woman driver or someone who I know is a father. Still, I often feel uncomfortable that something could go wrong, so I share my location with my friends.”

Uber has also started a new setting on the app where you can save your address on the app under a “home” tab. When drivers pick up and drop off a person, if the rider has their address saved in the home tab, drivers can also see that you have that specific address labeled as your home. 

Amari Desouza, also a junior at Florida A&M University, said, “Although he is a male, it is an invasion of privacy with Uber being able to tell where you live.” 

Although Uber is growing and still has a few imperfections, future riders see Uber as self-driven, just like many vehicles will be.