The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every part of our daily lives — including our transportation options. If you rely on the rideshare app Uber to travel, you may wonder what actions the company is taking to protect the health of their passengers and drivers.
Like other ridesharing companies, Uber has implemented a series of guidelines regarding the cleanliness and safety of their vehicles. All drivers must wear masks, sanitize their vehicles frequently, and follow general safety guidelines from public health organizations.
Uber’s New Coronavirus Guidelines
Uber has implemented a safety checklist, known as the Go Online checklist, that launches when a driver opens his or her Uber app. Each driver must confirm the following criteria before he or she begins accepting rides.
● Face covering: All drivers must confirm they are wearing a face mask or covering before driving. The company will ask the driver to take a photograph of him or herself for verification, and will send a message to future passengers confirming the presence of the mask.
● Symptoms: The checklist then asks drivers to confirm they will not go online if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or may have COVID-19. Uber drivers cannot accept rides if they may spread the virus.
● Sanitized vehicle: Uber drivers must confirm that they have sanitized their vehicles that day before they can go online.
● Sanitized hands: Drivers must also confirm that they sanitize or wash their hands regularly.
Once a driver confirms he or she has met all of the requirements on the checklist, he or she can go online and begin accepting rides.
Since cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment are in high demand, it can be difficult to ensure that Uber drivers are following these precautions. To combat this, Uber is also distributing personal protective equipment to its fleet of drivers, such as masks, disinfectant, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
Tips for Uber Passenger Safety During COVID-19
In addition to its guidelines for drivers, Uber also requires passengers to adhere to certain safety guidelines before riding in an Uber vehicle. Passengers must wear a face covering and confirm that they are sanitizing and washing their hands. In addition, passengers must sit in the backseat of Uber vehicles and open windows to promote ventilation and decrease the risk of viral transmission.
While these safety guidelines are admirable, it is not likely that all drivers will actually follow them. If you are riding in an Uber during the pandemic, take the following precautions to protect your health and safety.
● Always wear a face covering when riding in an Uber or Lyft, and keep the covering on during the entirety of your ride.
● Avoid touching your face, mask, eyes, nose, or mouth during the ride. Avoid physical contact with the driver by sitting in the back seat.
● After you exit the vehicle, wash or sanitize your hands as soon as possible. You should also disinfect any surfaces you may have touched during the ride, such as your phone or glasses. Always remember to wash your face mask when you return home.
● If a driver is not wearing a face covering, you have the right to refuse the ride and cancel the trip on the app without incurring a penalty. You can report the driver to Uber for violating the mask guidelines.
Although we may be a few months into the COVID-19 crisis, the number of infections is still increasing in many areas of the United States. Stay safe during your Uber rides by following these safety guidelines, and remember to report any driver who does not adhere to them.
Violence can still occur in Uber vehicles, even during a pandemic. If you suffer sexual assault related injuries at the hands of an Uber driver, contact a Uber sexual assault attorney as soon as possible.