When you use a rideshare app to get around, you expect to have a safe, violence-free ride – but this is not always how it turns out. Uber and Lyft drivers can assault their passengers, and some drivers even carry weapons such as guns and knives with them in their vehicle. However, both Uber and Lyft have different policies about carrying a weapon in a ridesharing vehicle – and these rules do not always stop the drivers from leaving these weapons at home.
Uber Does Not Allow Drivers to Carry Weapons
At one point in the company’s history, Uber did allow drivers to carry firearms with them in their vehicles. Drivers simply had to abide by the local, state, and federal laws about carrying guns in a car, and the company would not intervene. However, Uber’s weapons policy has changed slightly since then.
According to Uber’s current weapons policy, no one can carry a firearm in an Uber – including drivers, riders, and other passengers. If a driver does choose to carry a weapon in his or her vehicle, he or she will have to abide by certain Transportation Security Administration rules about transporting firearms and ammunition.
- The driver must unload the weapon and lock it in a hard-sided container.
- The driver must place the container in the trunk of the car.
- The driver must place any accessories, such as ammunition, clips, and magazines, in the trunk of the vehicle as well.
If the driver violates any of these provisions with his or her weapon, the company will suspend his or her account. This same policy applies to passengers as well.
Lyft Has a Strict No Weapons Policy
Since Lyft’s brand focuses on friendliness and safety, the company does not allow weapons of any kind in all associated Lyft properties. This includes any vehicles that are operating for Lyft, Lyft Hubs, and Lyft offices. Even if the driver has a permit for his or her weapon, he or she cannot carry the weapon when he or she is driving for the company.
Lyft defines a weapon as any kind of firearm. However, the definition could also apply to handguns, knives, stun guns, explosives, and tasers. The company reserves the right to judge what could be a weapon and what is not a weapon.
If a driver is carrying a weapon in his or her vehicle, the company could suspend his or her access to the Lyft app. The only Lyft personnel who can carry weapons are security personnel contracted by Lyft or law enforcement officers.
What to Do If a Rideshare Driver Threatens You with a Weapon
While these policies may be in place to protect you and other passengers from violence, an Uber or Lyft driver could still carry a weapon in his or her vehicle. If a driver threatens you with a weapon, take these steps to remain safe.
- Stay calm. Do not do anything to provoke or aggravate the driver.
- Make eye contact with the driver. This will help humanize you and reduce potential violence.
- Comply with his or her orders calmly and do not argue with him or her. You can replace cards, cash, and other personal belongings in the future.
After the attack, take these steps to report the incident.
- As soon as you are in a safe place, contact law enforcement and report the incident.
- Collect as much evidence as you can, including screenshots of the ride history and any physical damage you suffered.
- Seek medical attention for any injuries.
- Contact a rideshare attorney to discuss your legal options.
If an Uber driver carries a weapon in his or her vehicle, you could report it to the company – but this does little to protect you from attack. Stay vigilant, tell people when you are riding, and use personal protection devices to keep yourself safe. If a driver does assault you with a weapon, you have legal options available to you. Speak to police and get legal representation from an Uber or Lyft assault attorney to learn more about what you can do after an assault. Contact our law firm today to find out how our attorneys can help.