Gone are the days when you had to stand on the street corner to hail a taxi if you did not have your own car. Now, you can simply log into an app on your smartphone and have an Uber, Lyft or another rideshare arrive within minutes. Your trip home may not be as carefree as you think, though.
According to the Pew Research Center, more than 35% of adults in the United States report having used a rideshare service at one time or another. Even though rideshares are becoming an increasingly common way to travel, they have some risks you should consider before ordering one. Here are three of them.
Viruses, bacteria and other germs are everywhere. While you may think a taxi is apt to be germier than a rideshare, that may not be entirely accurate. In fact, a study from insurer Netquote found that rideshares may have nearly 220 times the germs that a typical taxi has. Even though some rideshare drivers routinely clean their vehicles, taxi companies seem to have a better approach to minimizing germs.
While taxi drivers in Los Angeles must pursue licensure before driving passengers, rideshare drivers go through a less rigorous process. Put simply, when you ride in an Uber or Lyft, you do not have a professional driver behind the wheel. A lack of defensive driving and experience may cause your rideshare driver to have a collision.
Even though Uber, Lyft and other rideshare programs screen contractors, you have likely heard about assaults involving rideshare drivers. For example, in May 2019, a Los Angeles woman sued Uber for a sexual assault that occurred in 2017. There have also been dozens of reports of sexual assault by individuals who are posing as rideshare drivers.
As you can see, there are some risks to taking a rideshare. Fortunately, you can increase your odds of staying safe in an Uber or Lyft by using some common sense and taking a few precautions. Still, you do not want a lack of understanding to lure you into a false sense of security.