If you need some extra income and have a bit of free time on your hands, you may consider becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. These companies provide a flexible way for many people to make money in their own vehicles, but becoming an Uber or Lyft driver can pose some significant risks. In particular, female Uber and Lyft drivers have reported harassment and violence while they are driving.
Violence Against Women Driving for Uber and Lyft
Lyft and Uber have a very low percentage of female drivers – especially the latter company. According to Forbes, only 14% of Uber drivers and only 30% of Lyft drivers are women. Many women refrain from driving for Uber and Lyft due to the stories that female drivers have shared since these apps launched.
Female Uber and Lyft drivers have reported experiencing harassment at the hands of their passengers while on the road. Some drivers have had passengers make unwanted advances towards them, while others report violent physical and sexual assault. These incidents have turned many female drivers off of driving for these apps and left many with lasting physical and emotional trauma.
What Do Uber and Lyft Do to Protect Their Drivers?
Since Uber and Lyft consider their employees to be independent contractors instead of employees, these companies can legally limit the responsibility they take for harassment and assault while driving. However, the apps do have features to help drivers report incidents and seek help when they need it.
- 24/7 helplines for drivers
- The ability to call 911 in the app
- Incident reporting inside of the app
- The ability to share trip info with friends, family, and emergency contacts
The company also bans riders who violate their terms of service on harassment and violence, but these actions are not enough to remedy the emotional trauma that these incidents leave on female drivers.
Many women continue to experience harassment and violence while driving for rideshares every day. Some women state that they experience something that makes them feel uncomfortable every time they drive. If you are the victim of violence and harassment while driving for a rideshare company, report the instance as soon as possible, seek medical attention if necessary, and contact an Uber assault attorney.
Safety Tips for Female Uber and Lyft Drivers
Ridesharing can be dangerous for female drivers. However, there are strategies you can employ to stay secure and restore your peace of mind. To increase your safety while driving for Uber or Lyft, follow these tips.
- Rate and check the ratings of your passengers. You have access to this information for a reason – to anticipate any potential issues that a passenger might pose to you. If you see a rating less than four stars, be alert. In addition, make sure to rate your passengers to give other drivers a warning.
- Drive during safe hours. Usually, driving conditions become more dangerous at night and in the early morning hours. Passengers between 9 pm and 5 am can be drunk, belligerent, and pose a possible threat to your safety. Avoid driving during these times if possible.
- Have a plan to handle drunk passengers. Lyft and Uber are often the go-to designated drivers for many people, and chances are you may have to drive a drunk passenger home. Most of the time, you are not at risk when you have a drunk passenger in your car. If the passenger makes inappropriate comments, do not be afraid to cancel the ride or ask them to leave your vehicle.
- Have emergency contacts available. Let your friends know when you are driving and share your location with trusted people. Check-in every now and then to let your friends know you are safe and doing well.
If you are a female Uber or Lyft driver, you have the right to safety while you are driving. You should not have to endure harassment or assault at the hands of your passengers. If you are the victim of violence while you are driving for Uber or Lyft, contact a Lyft assault attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.