Chances are, you or someone you know has taken a ride with one of the ride-sharing services that are popular today in New York and across the country. These services have provided countless customers an affordable, easy and convenient alternative to traditional taxis or public transportation. Additionally, they have given many drivers a flexible and customizable way to make a living.
However, when you get into a car with an Uber driver, you are essentially riding with a stranger. This is also true of taxi drivers and other transportation employees. One of the key differences is that those who drive for ride-sharing services are considered independent contractors, rather than true employees. Uber, Lyft and other services typically conduct background checks on potential drivers, but do not have the face-to-face interaction of a job interview that may further serve to weed out someone who seems untrustworthy.
You may have been satisfied with your experiences with ride-sharing services, like most customers. Unfortunately, reports CBS News, some customers over the past few years have come forward with allegations of violence or sexual assault committed against them while they were passengers. In one incident, an Uber driver was arrested after allegedly abducting an intoxicated passenger and taking her to a hotel, intending to sexually assault her.
Some critics of these types of services say that the companies do not do enough to protect their customers from harm. They also claim that the companies’ responses to allegations of abuse or compensation to victims are insufficient. It may be a good idea to be informed of the possible risks of using a ride-sharing service.