There has been plenty of discussion in recent years about the safety of using common ride-sharing services in your community. In fact, ride-sharing service safety concerns have now inspired a number of legislative efforts to double down on screening and safety checks for ride-sharing drivers, and with good reason. It turns out that the companies behind your favorite ride-sharing apps may be overlooking some important safety indicators.
Gaps in Background Checks
Most ride-sharing services now use a multi-tier screening process. This includes an initial screening where the service does a surface-level background check for recent criminal convictions, driving incidents and more. If all of these come back clear, the driver is sent through a state-level background check where required. This process has uncovered a number of red flags among candidates who were otherwise approved by the company. Most notably, it discovered that some approved candidates were underage or had previous convictions for violent behavior outside the scope of their initial search. As a rider, this is information you would want to know before you get into the back of a car.
Ongoing Ride-Sharing Safety Monitoring
Aside from the initial background checks, ride-sharing services have had trouble keeping up with the status of their already-active drivers. For instance, if a driver is convicted of a crime or involved in a serious motor vehicle incident after they have been approved, it could be a while before the ride-sharing service flags them or disqualifies them. In the meantime, you could be riding with someone who has had their license suspended or is no longer eligible to provide ride-sharing services.
There is also the crucial matter of vehicle safety. When it comes to ride-sharing services and safety, there are currently no checkpoints or other steps during which the vehicle is inspected and deemed safe. All other taxi and livery services operating for profit must undergo these inspections on a routine basis to protect consumers. Rideshare services have put that responsibility entirely on drivers, who are often driving because they are short on cash and can’t afford a repair in the first place. This raises serious questions about the potential for accidents, and whether the driver’s insurance coverage would protect riders in the event of equipment failure.
Legislative bodies across the nation are currently looking at options for improving ride-sharing services safety, but until we have uniform laws to protect consumers, these three safety concerns should be at the top of your mind when you are planning your travel. When you need to get where you are going without having to stress over safety, make sure you call a professional car service and reserve your ride.
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