Is Uber safe? A breakdown of Uber safety policies for drivers and passengers alike
It’s the largest rideshare company in the world, currently. And pretty much everybody on each who lives in some sort of city knows what it is. It has swooped into our lives and transformed the way we think, the way we plan, and most important, the way we get from point A to point B. Lets find out, is uber safe?
Yeah, I’m talking about Uber.
You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has never used Uber before in their lifetime. You’d be even more challenged in finding someone who doesn’t know what it is. It’s ridesharing at it’s finest. The ability to summon a ride at the push of a button, and be off wherever you need to go. No waiting around for buses, no dealing with surly cab drivers, and no being packed into trains like sardines.
But with any ultra-convenience that drops to us from the heavens (or rather from some tech startup’s garage,) we ask the same question. This is an awesome service, and it’s made my life so much easier. But, how safe is it? And the question can be asked here: is Uber safe?
In this writer’s humble opinion, yes.
Personally, I think is Uber safe is kind of a silly question. But, I’m sure you will probably want more than just my word for it. You’ve probably done a Google search and come up with a bunch of results proving otherwise.
But come on people, let’s be real here. Unless you never ever leave your house, you will never be completely safe. And even then there’s the chance of danger coming to your doorstep. There’s no situation in which you will be completely safe from any possibility of danger.
So, the real question playing into determining is Uber safe or not is what do they do to mitigate those possibilities. What does Uber do to minimize the chances of danger and mishaps as much as possible? Do they hold their drivers and their passengers accountable? Yes, I said passengers too. You think letting strangers into your car is any safer than getting into a stranger’s car?
So let’s go over some of the things that might help decide is Uber safe or not. We’ll start with the obvious one…or ones, rather.
Uber has strict safety policies for driver-to-passenger conduct
It’s easy to see Uber’s commitment to safety when you read through some of these. In fact, there is an entire sectin of Uber’s website dedicated only to safety with their use. Let’s go over some of the safety rules and regulations on Uber’s website, so we know that Uber is safe. I’m going to be covering both riders and drivers here.
Uber passenger safety rules and regulations
“Uber is dedicated to keeping people safe on the road. Our technology enables us to focus on rider safety before, during, and after every trip.” – Uber website
Go on their website, and you’ll find a plethora of information that helps show that Uber is safe.
Is Uber safe? with pickups, definitely.
The first thing they focus on is their pickups. And rightly so; pickups are the first thing that affects a rider when dealing with Uber.
Let’s explore what we USED to have to deal with. Once we do that, we’ll compare it with what we not get to deal with, and maybe you’ll see my point a bit better.
Once upon a time, in a dark, dreary, grey world, there were these things called taxis. Well, they are still around now, but now there’s other options. Anyways, in most places you would get a taxi by standing on the sidewalk and flagging them down. This was fine, for about half the day. However, imagine standing on a sidewalk or street corner at night. For some people this is a lot less safe than for others.
And sure, you can call a cab company and have them send you ride. But, you still have no idea when they will actually arrive at your location. In the meantime, you’re standing outside waiting. You’re exposed to the elements, danger from other people, all kinds of things.
Not the case with Uber. The on-screen tracking in the app shows you exactly where your driver is on the road. You can monitor how quickly they’re travelling, and make sure you only step out when they are close. Now only that, but the app hones in right on your exact location. This way the driver knows exactly where you are, so no one is left waiting or searching. So, in this respect, Uber is safe. At least, safer than the alternative.
Uber also does not discriminate.
Now I’ve seen firsthand that this is sometimes a problem with cab drivers. In the small Canadian city I live in, unfortunately Uber doesn’t exist in this area. In fact, it’s not available anywhere in the entire province. So we’re stuck relying on taxis as the only on-demand source of transportation. And I’ve seen firsthand that that kind of monopoly sometimes results in…unpleasantness.
For example, it’s pretty well-known here that it’s hard to get a taxi downtown during bar closing time. At this time, there are hundreds of drunk people who spill out into the main streets, looking for rides home. And there have been more and more incidents of taxi drivers turning riders away based on where they are headed. Apparently this is a practice called ‘racial redlining.’ This is because the cab drivers feel the drive to certain areas isn’t profitable enough. Now this isn’t based on race or creed or orientation, but that’s certainly discrimination in my book!
So, this might not help you decide if Uber is safe or not, but it should certainly highlight their commitment to inclusivity. Uber blindly matches the closest driver with the ride request from the rider. So there is no discrimination on their part. Uber is safe, but also friendly to all people, regardless of what you look like.
Uber lets you know exactly who is picking you up before they even arrive!
Part of the feeling of unpleasant suspense I got whenever hailing a cab was not knowing who it was. It could be anyone picking you up. And really they could take you anywhere without there being any record of it. Personally, I found it to be too much potential for things to go wrong.
Once again, Uber proves to be the much safer alternative. When your driver accepts the ride, you see all their information on screen. This includes their name, license plate number, their picture, and even rating. Pretty much everything you can know about someone without a medical history or online dating profile.
Not only that, but it goes even one step beyond. You can get in touch with the driver immediately afterward. This is in case you realize you left something behind on your ride. So not only is Uber safe for you. Uber is safe for your possessions, too!
Is Uber safe during the drive? Absolutely.
Once you have climbed into the rider’s car, you can track your ride progress with your smartphone. This allows you to know exactly where you are on the road. Tracking your progress makes you keenly aware f where you’re going. You can also make sure the driver is taking the most efficient route to your destination. And if you’re taking UberPOOL to save a few bucks, you can see the profiles of the other riders in the car, too.
Once you’ve been picked up, you can also get your ETA (estimated time of arrival.) This is for two reasons: the first reason is for your own convenience and piece of mind. The second, is so that you can share it with friends or family who might be waiting for you. So, not only is Uber safe, but it is convenient as well!
Uber is safe before, during, and even after the drive!
So, you’ve taken your first ride with Uber. And if you used an Uber promo code beforehand, then you’ve benefitted from it being free too! So what happens next? You get out of the car, and that’s that? On the ultra-slim chance that something troublesome DID happen during your ride, what then? And if you want to make sure your good driver gets credit for being so, how do you go about it? Once you’ve found that Uber is safe, can you give props to your driver?
Well, Uber will make sure that whatever concern you might have, they can address. You re able to rate your driver after every single ride you take. Also, you rate your driver anywhere between one to five stars, five being for good service. You can also write any comments you might have about your driver, whether good or bad. This way, you yourself can help make sure Uber is safe. Uber takes rider safety very seriously, and wants you to have only the best experience. Therefore, they read every review!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Uber ride, they want to hear them. If you need immediate assistance, Uber does have a twenty-four hour help line you can call. Whether your concern is with a bad experience, or you just left something in the car. Again; Uber is safe not just for you, but you things too. Their rapid response team works around the clock to address concerns from their users as fast as possible.
What else are they doing to make sure Uber is safe?
Well, they do several thing to maintain their excellent safety standards. Maybe you’re concerned with a driver you need to communicate with knowing your phone number. After all, that’s a valid concern to have. I have a hard time giving my phone number to businesses, let alone random people.
Uber uses technology that is capable of shielding phone numbers in many different places. This is accomplished by making the phone number appear anonymous to the driver. So when you have to talk to your driver, your information remains exclusive to you. Yet another reason that Uber is safe!
Uber doesn’t just show you your trip progress by way of GPS. They go further in their commitment to make sure that Uber us safe. Routes your driver takes are saved and logged for every trip you make. This way, Uber knows where your driver is taking you, and exactly who they are.
They also stress their commitment to helping law enforcement where able. In Uber’s own words, “In cases where law enforcement provides us with valid legal process, we provide them with useful date to help in their investigations.” This means that if they can be of any help to police in regards to rectifying safety issues, they will. And, if after all this you’re STILL questioning whether Uber is safe, read on.
Uber is safe not just for itself, but for the cities it’s active in!
It’s no secret that there’s a valid link between Uber’s presence in a city, and drunk driving. Anywhere the app is active in, incidents of drunk driving have always gone down. This is simply because Uber creates a cheap, convenient, and efficient alternative to the often more pricey taxis. And less people on the road driving drunk, means your entire city environment becomes safer.
Another useful little bit of information is that Uber does cashless transactions. This makes it so you can leave your money at home…where it’s safer.
Uber driver safety rules and regulations
It doesn’t do any good to ignore the safety concerns that drivers might have as well as drivers. After all, it’s just as risky for a driver to let a stranger into their car as it is for a rider to climb into a stranger’s car. In fact, I have seen more video incidents of Uber drivers becoming the victim of rider abuse than the other way around. But thankfully, there are steps in place that make sure Uber is safe for drivers, too.
There aren’t any anonymous pickups
When a rider creates an Uber profile, they are required to provide their own information. This includes their name, email address, and even their phone number. That way, you know exactly who you’re going to be dealing with. This helps keep standards high, and makes it so Uber is safe for all parties involved.
Phone numbers are kept private
I’ve already gone over this when I talked about safety for riders. However, this feature is just as important for drivers as it is for them. Anonymous phone numbers keep your private information secure as you complete rides for Uber.
Other bits of safety for the drivers
The policies that are in place for rider safety also benefit drivers, too. The in-app navigation and the on-file GPS trips help keep things on tab and under control for both parties. Things like these make it so Uber is safe for everyone.
Okay, that’s all good…but you can’t say Uber is safe. Stuff can still happen!
Well, like I had said before, any time you leave your home there’s a chance of SOMETHING happening. And even if you don’t leave your house, there’s slim possibilities of earthquakes, tornados, or other things. Uber is safe…at least, as safe as it can be without having a cop ride along with you every single time.
To better illustrate my point, let’s look over some of the alternatives to Uber. We will include both things like public transit, and private on-demand services. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be totally biased here. I’ll go over the pros of each, too.
I think it’s only fitting to start out with the monopolistic service that Uber sought out to supplant. After all, this is the thing that is most like Uber that’s out there (aside from other rideshare companies. We’;; talk about Lyft in another blog some other time.)
Let’s see, pros….hmmm. Well, to be perfectly honest, I don’t see any pros that a regular taxi has over an Uber ride. The only thing I can think of that taxis have that Uber doesn’t is over-powered unions.
Well as you can imagine there are plenty. After all, Uber was created to be BETTER than the cab industry. First off, let’s start on the thing that consumers look at most. In the majority of cases, Uber is definitely cheaper than the taxis.
Uber is DEFINITELY more convenient than the cabs, too. A ride that comes right to you…with the push of a button. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that. It’s definitely better than picking up a phone and waiting to talk to someone.
Now, on to the main focus of this entire blog: safety. “But wait! What about all the incidents about Uber being unsafe in the news?” Yeah, you might see those now and again. It’s trendy for news outlets to make people scared of Uber. It gets them good ratings to make you question if Uber is safe. But I’m quite sure that for every story you see about something bad happening centered round Uber, you can find one about a taxi cab ride gone wrong
The reason you don’t see those on Facebook trending stories is because Uber is on top of the world right now. And it’s in the news’ best interests to find bad stories about a trendy service like Uber. So of course they won’t tell you that Uber is safe. But truth be told, taxis are no safer.
Public transit (buses, trains, etc.)
Now public transit actually does have some edges over Uber. For example, it’s generally cheaper than using any sort of on-demand transportation. An all-day pass for public buses generally runs around five dollars, in my experience. And a trip on a city train usually ran be about two dollars. A typical Uber ride costs more than that.
Unfortunately, the pros pretty much stop right there. Sure, you could argue that public transit is faster than Uber. But this isn’t ALWAYS true. Buses are almost never, if not never, faster than taking an Uber. And even if it’s a train or light rail, it’s still not always speedier.
And public transit definitely isn’t as convenient as taking an Uber. Waiting around for a bus or a train to come to you when you could be doing other things isn’t very productive. Not to mention the fact that you can’t completely rely on bus schedules. Sure, they try to adhere to it as much as possible. But due to different anomalies over the day, some differentiation is inevitable. And it’s all the worse if those anomalies cause you to miss the bus.
And you might disagree with me, but I think Uber is safe…safer than public transit. Sure, there are more people at one time. But do a quick Youtube search of incidents that happen on trains and buses. You will see quite a few, whether they are robberies, fights, shouting matches, or other things. And more people being around isn’t always safer (it definitely isn’t more comfortable.)
In conclusion, Uber is safe…at least, safe as it can be.
You could spend all day on Google, looking up things that happened on Uber’s watch. You could also work yourself into a frenzy and not go anywhere at all by doing that. But I think that Uber is safe enough for you to at least not worry about those possibilities.
And for those of you who are still doubting Uber is safe, then let me put it this way. I challenge you to find another mode of on-demand transportation that is safer. It has to be equally inexpensive too (no limousines.) And while you’re floundering in vain to prove me wrong, I will be taking Uber to get where I need to go quickly, and efficiently. Uber is safe…at least, safe enough for it to be used regularly by millions of people worldwide.