Is Uber Or Lyft Safer? Here's What You Need To Know A Guide + Safety Rideshare Tips

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which is safer uber or lyft

Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, people are undoubtedly moving around. Whether you need a business trip or a short driving trip, Uber is still running as well as Lyft, one of Uber’s major competitors in the US. They are both easy-to-use and free to set-up. You’re either one of the 93 million people who use the Uber app on a monthly basis or one of the 12.5 million Lyft riders, or maybe one of the skeptics who has banned the ride hailing apps.

So, which side of the divide should you be on? Which is the safest rideshare company? Is Uber safe for females?

If you want to find out which is safer, Uber or Lyft, you are at the right place.

Our Uber vs Lyft safety face-off will help you figure out which kind of ride hailing app is safer and better for you.

Is Uber Safe?

What are people’s concerns about Uber? There are some justifiable reasons to be wary of Uber technology. In a comprehensive safety report, Uber shares details on Uber’s safety progress, processes, and data related to reports of the most critical safety incidents on the platform. Here is a breakdown of the main issues, problems and scandals that the company had to face.

Data Breach

Several major vulnerabilities including cyber attacks can be used to steal users' data.

In 2020, Joe Sullivan, a former chief security officer for Uber, was charged with obstruction of justice for trying to cover up a data breach the ride-share service experienced in late 2016 . Learn how to protect your account in our detailed guide.

Sexual Assault

Approximately 1 in 5 women (19.3%) in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape in their lifetime and 43.9% have experienced other forms of SV. For instance, 12.5% have experienced sexual coercion, 27.3% have experienced unwanted sexual contact, and 32.1% have experienced non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

As for Uber, the company reported the following unsafe incidents during its rides in the United States in 2018:

  • 3,045 sexual assaults
  • 9 people murdered
  • 58 killed in crashes

So, is it safe to take Uber? In reality, if you look at Uber and Lyft crime stats there have been more crimes where the victim was an Uber or Lyft driver than where the suspect was a Lyft or Uber driver.

Gig economy companies take responsibility for their independent contractors.

The short answer is yes. Even if you do not have a female driver, it's safe to take an Uber even alone as a single woman. Of course, Uber is totally unsafe for unaccompanied minors .

Background Check

The company performs yearly DMV background checks and continuous criminal screenings on all of its drivers on the platform. Some people complain about the fact that drivers are not fingerprinted. Keep in mind that biometric security is very useful when it comes to kids' transportation, but it is really expensive.

Vehicle Inspection

All the vehicles on the platform must be able to pass a yearly vehicle inspection.

Ride Check

This is a GPS based technology that allows Uber to detect possible crashes or if a trip goes unusually off course. Other in-app safety features include:

  • The emergency button
  • Your phone number is always private

Is Checkr Safe?

Since both car services perform Checkr background checks, I guess you want to know if Checkr is safe. Checkr is a safe and legitimate company. It is a leader in the background check industry and keeps adding different technologies and solutions to keep improving its screenings.

Is Uber Safe During Covid? Everything You Need To Know

So, how safe or risky is Uber during the pandemic? Is it safe to take a ride right now during COVID? Uber made a safety program to prevent the spread of the virus.

The covid 19 is our biggest challenge today. We all know that the virus infection occurs by direct or indirect contact with nasal, conjunctival, or oral mucosa, when respiratory particles are inhaled or deposited on these mucous membranes.

So, how safe or risky is Uber during the pandemic? Is it safe to take a ride right now amidst the COVID pandemic?

Uber made a safety program to prevent the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 is our biggest challenge today. We all know that the virus infection occurs by direct or indirect contact with nasal, conjunctival, or oral mucosa, when respiratory particles are inhaled or deposited on these mucous membranes.

When the pandemic started, the San Francisco based rideshare app followed the CDC guidelines to implement COVID-Safe ride standards. The safety protocols include face mask covering for drivers and riders.

The company adopted a system of mask verification. Drivers must take a photo of themselves before they can begin driving, and the app technology helps verify that they are wearing a face cover. Keep in mind that you can also report an unmasked driver, just like a driver can report an unmasked passenger.

Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces helps protect against coronavirus. But how clean are Uber cars? Cleaning and sanitizing the car is under the driver's responsibility, so it all depends on how much effort the driver puts in the cleanliness of their car.

Uber has any control over this. The question is: are Ubers reliable? Keep in mind that in this situation, using your own personal car by yourself would be the safer option. You will not be exposed to anyone else.

Is Lyft Safe?

Lyft uses the same security process that Uber does without any exception. The Lyft driver safety program includes:

  • The driver screening process
  • The yearly vehicle inspection
  • The safety education: every driver must complete a safety education program created in collaboration with RAINN to ensure they know what behavior is acceptable in a Lyft ride.
  • The zero tolerance policy: One of the significant benefits of having written safety programs is that it acts as a vehicle for establishing the safety roles and standards.

In addition to setting their safety related goals, Lyft developed a safety toolkit in the app. ADT and Lyft partner to power an in-app safety tool kit:

  • You can share your trip with family and friends
  • The safety button: you can call 911 directly by tapping the safety button in the app
  • You can reach the critical response line for any emergency assistance during a ride or to report a collision or citation

💡 PRO TIP: If your Lyft driver doesn't match picture, feel free to cancel the trip and report the issue to Lyft.

How Does Lyft Help Customers Feel Safe During Covid-19?

Here is a breakdown of all protocols imposed by Lyft to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Shared Rides Are Suspended

Uber and Lyft suspended all shared rides. This service, which allowed users to share a ride with other passengers, had just been temporary in the United States, Canada and France.

Is Uber Safer Than Taxi?

The fact is that more and more people are using ride hailing services instead of taxi rides. They are a convenient alternative to public transport.

In addition, ride-hailing companies have made efforts to expand their services to rural and remote areas. The competition between Uber and taxis is ruthless.

The truth is that taxis are not equipped with safety measures more than rideshare companies are and you probably find more women driving for a rideshare company than working as taxi drivers.

Assaults committed by local cab drivers have also been reported. According to the Sun, in 2018, police conducted 151 rape enquiries into taxi drivers in the UK and investigated a further 353 reported sexual assault – a 4% increase from 2017.

As for the United States, there have been assaults against taxi passengers reported in Manhattan, Seattle, Washington D.C. ,Portland, Fort Lauderdale, and elsewhere.

When it comes to Coronavirus prevention, some taxi companies may have plexiglass barriers between the front and back seat which can reduce exposures between the passengers and the driver.

What Action Have Uber And Lyft Taken To Improve Women Safety?

In addition to the safety features above, Uber and Lyft have taken accountability for many of their failings, which is always a positive step.

The main goal for Uber and Lyft is to improve the safety of all the users on the platform. That includes for both the drivers and the riders.

Here is a breakdown of all the safety investments:

1. Classifying Incidents

The first step was to define the categories of sexual harassment. Is kissing someone without consent assault? This is the kind of question that often divides opinion. To define sexual misconduct and help Uber to categorize reports of sexual experience, in 2018 the NSVRC and the Urban Institute, teamed together.

They provide Uber with a system of taxonomy for reports of sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual assault.

This taxonomy helps Uber to more correctly categorize reports of these sexually violent experiences and to better determine the most appropriate action to take in response to each report.

Basically, the passenger safety hazards fell into the following most severe categories:

  1. Non consensual kissing of a nonsexual body part
  2. Attempted non consensual sexual penetration
  3. Non consensual touching of a sexual body part
  4. Non consensual kissing of a sexual body part
  5. Non consensual sexual penetration

2. Creation Of A Database Of Abusive Drivers

Following the Uber and Lyft news, we got alerted of something that will impact all the community of gig workers and app users. In March 2021, Uber and Lyft launched the first Industry Sharing Safety Program. The two ride sharing apps created a database to share information about the drivers and delivery people deactivated from each company’s platform for the most serious safety incidents.

3. Prevention Initiative Programs

Starting in 2017 and until 2022, the tech company will pledge $5 million in an effort to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. They made partnerships with anti-sexual assault and domestic violence organizations.

These funds will be used to invest in community safety education programs for drivers and riders.

What Are The Next Key Steps To Improve Safety?

If you know the ridesharing employment model, you probably know that drivers are not full-time or part time employees but they work as independent contractors.

Some drivers are less likely to worry about their insurance requirements .

There is an incoherence between Uber and Lyft insurance requirements and rideshare insurance requirements from all the insurance companies.

Uber and Lyft do not require commercial insurance, while personal car insurance policy typically does not cover "business use" of your vehicle.

Having to deal with insurance companies and multiple parties to get compensated can be difficult. The new year is a great time to review safety goals. Reviewing their insurance policy is an awesome goal that Uber and Lyft might consider to improve their safety program.

Tips for a Safe Ride

So, how to be safe when using Uber and Lyft? Take your ride security and sense of safety into your own hands with these tips to feel safer while driving with a rideshare service.

In addition to the policy applied by the on-demand rideshare apps, these safety tips, including coronavirus safety tips, will help you drive safer:

  • Sit in the back seat
  • Check that there is no child lock in the car. This will prevent you from opening the door from inside
  • Use hands sanitizer to clean your hands before touching anything in the car
  • To increase the fresh air circulation in the car, keep windows open even during rainy weather
  • Verify that your driver matches with the Uber driver profile on the app
  • Match the license plate number
  • Match the car make and model
  • Avoid riding alone late at night, especially if you are drunk

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Request A Female Uber Driver?

While we do not have access to official Uber statistics on the disproportion of gender of Uber drivers, we know that 86% of drivers are male and there are only 14% of women Uber drivers. Instacart is one of the favorite side hustle for females.

But, is it safe to take a ride as a single woman?

It is not surprising that women riders prefer women drivers. Ever since our young age, we were taught to understand the dynamics of our environment. What's safe and what's not safe, who to trust, and how to engage with strangers. What we've learned throughout the years is that you can never be too cautious.

However, choosing a female chauffeur is not a feature of the Uber and Lyft app.

Are There Uber for Women Rideshare Apps?

While there exists some female driver rideshare apps, they were all hit by the pandemic and have temporarily or definitely stopped providing rides and deliveries. Find below a list of the main women driving women rideshare services:

Are Uber Black Drivers Safer?

Uber black drivers follow the same guidelines, rules and hiring process of other drivers. What mainly changes for them are the vehicle eligibility criteria. However, Uber black drivers are more experienced drivers because they must have completed at least 100 trips on UberX, UberPool, or UberXL before embarking on Uber black.

Can Uber Riders Request A Specific Driver?

Some ride-sharing services like Ziro and Wingz allow you to mark a driver as your favorite. By using Lyft or Uber, you cannot choose a specific driver. Their dispatch systems will match you with the first driver near you that accepted the ride.

Do Uber Drivers Choose Who They Pick Up?

Every time you make a ride request, active drivers receive a request in their Uber partner app.

The ride request includes the following information:

  • The pickup location and drop off location
  • The kind of ride (UberX, Uber XL…)
  • How long the trip will be
  • The distance from the pick up location

Other rider personal information such as your name is only available once they accept the request.

Is Uber App Safe For Credit Cards?

Paying with a credit card is one of the safest ways to pay online. You should always try to use safe online payment methods. However, if you choose to pay with a credit card, try to make it more secure by adding the two-factor authentication.

Safety 1st

Sexual harassment and other forms of sexual violence are unfortunately an everyday occurrence for women and girls in every country around the world. When it comes to safety, Uber and Lyft took a lot of measures to ensure safe rides to their users. Is Uber or Lyft safer? Recently, the two rideshare companies chose to partner to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive approaches to prevent and respond to sexual harassment against women.

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