Over the last few years, the way that many people get from Point A to Point B has changed dramatically.
The use of rideshare services, like Uber and Lyft, has significantly transformed the transportation industry, giving travelers more options than ever. Rideshares can be cheaper than taxis, and they’re definitely more plentiful in some areas. For residents in quasi-urban areas and suburbs where taxis aren’t common, they can be a godsend. However, there’s evidence to suggest that they’re not necessarily safer than taxis.
There’s no official consensus – and the anecdotal evidence is mixed
Unfortunately, there’s nobody really tracking the problems with either set of drivers, and certainly none making hour-per-hour or mile-per-mile comparisons that would give the data context.
The national Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association has taken pains to point out every story they can find regarding acts of violence by Uber or Lyft drivers in a campaign to convince travelers that rideshares aren’t safe. However, there are just as many anecdotes out there about taxi drivers committing assaults. Taxi companies also say that the background checks done by companies like Uber and Lyft are subpar because they don’t require fingerprint checks – and Uber, at least, has taken a financial and legal hit for making exaggerated claims about their security processes.
However, Uber has countered with claims that in one year alone they rejected about 600 operating taxi drivers who applied to work under Uber’s banner for failing its background check. In addition, rideshare companies now offer users the ability to use apps to “check in” as they travel and communicate concerns directly with the company – a feature that isn’t present with a taxi.
Essentially, the jury’s out when it comes to any real verdict on the issue of safety when it comes to rideshare services versus taxis. To protect yourself, you’ll always need to approach each ride carefully. If you aren’t comfortable with your driver’s behavior, ask them to stop the car so you can get out. If you are injured in an incident with a taxi driver or a rideshare driver, you can seek legal guidance at any time.