Just imagine: you just had a great night out with your friends, and you need a ride home. Your friends can not take you home, and you have no one to call to pick you up because it is late. What is the next best option: rideshare. You open your Uber or Lyft app to find a driver that can take you home. They come, and you climb into the backseat, knowing that the next place you will be is your house. Once the car is stopped, you climb out of the car and the car drives away. You arrive at your home, and think to yourself about the great night you just had. That ride was a really nice and easy way to get home. However, each ride may not be that simple. Car accidents occur, unsafe drivers can threaten the safety of the passenger, and the passenger could possibly never end up going home. But no one thinks about the negatives as they climb into their vehicle. Maybe they should. 

Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft need the passenger’s location to be able to pick up the passenger. However, “if riders don’t turn off location access after completing their rides the app could potentially track and collect data around the clock on where the user is, where they go, and, sometimes, even how long they stay there” (“How Ridesharing Services Can Take Your Privacy for a Ride”). This quote addresses the problem of the ridesharing companies having access to the passenger’s location for as long as the passenger leaves their location on for. For example, if a passenger arrives at their destination and does not turn off their location, the driver potentially has all the information they need to hunt the passenger down and possibly hurt them. This problem does not change on the age of the passenger; a 16 year old girl could be tracked, and so could an elderly man. The consequences of location sharing have no mercy for who the passenger is, which is why it is important for the passenger to turn off their location as soon as they can. 

We need to care about the issue of ridesharing because emergencies can always happen, and we need to be prepared at all times. Most apps “display the driver’s route and estimated time of arrival, in addition to the driver’s name, photo and vehicle information” (“The Dangers of Uber and Other Ride-Sharing Apps”). This is a problem because even though it discusses the information shared, it also implies that there is information that needs to be shared that currently is not. For example, the customer does not see what kind of insurance the driver has, so the customer does not know if they will be covered in a car accident. The uncertainty will deter the amount of customers these companies will receive. 

There are more rules and regulations that need to be changed as well. Taxis “have fallen in popularity in part because ridesharing services offer more conveniences: instantaneous confirmation of ride requests, less-expensive rates, and typically a newer and more varied “fleet” of cars since they employ individual contracted drivers who use their personal cars” (“How Ridesharing Services Can Take Your Privacy for a Ride”). This quote addresses the problem of the differences in safety between ridesharing services and taxi services. Taxi services have much heavier and stricter safety measures, which ridesharing services should implement. Taxi services also have the drivers use the yellow cars; the drivers do not use their own cars, making the insurance issue disappear. These issues are preventing these ridesharing services from being the ideal form of transportation. If these rules and regulations are changed, people would feel more safe about using them. Improving safety should always be the number one concern, and yet, it does not seem like a priority for these companies. 

https://www.mountainone.com/news/dangers-uber-and-other-ride-sharing-apps

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-ridesharing-privacy-ride.html

https://www.safety.com/rideshare-safety-tips/

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5 Comments
  1. Annie 3 weeks ago

    Julia, I found reading your post very interesting, you brought up many good points to consider. I liked the introduction to your blog and how it caught the readers attention. The point you brought up about not knowing the insurance that the driver has is also valid. Sharing our location is something that is extremely dangerous in our society now. Not only with ride sharing, but also with any other form of social media, there are creepy people and sharing our location can always bring up new issues in our lives.

  2. Isabella 3 weeks ago

    Julia, I really enjoyed reading your article and I think that it brought up some very valuable things to consider when using Lyft or Uber. I like how you mentioned, “For example, the customer does not see what kind of insurance the driver has, so the customer does not know if they will be covered in a car accident. The uncertainty will deter the amount of customers these companies will receive.” I think this is very important to make sure that the driver has insurance and that if an accident does occur, everyone involved will be protected. I agree that the uncertainty will lead people away from these companies. I think your article is very informative and will allow people to think more about their safety and consider the consequences of ridesharing.

  3. Haley 3 weeks ago

    Julia,
    I found it really interesting how you opened up your post with imagery and putting the reader into the place of the story. It gave me goosebumps when reading what you said about passengers forgetting to turn off their location. I also think it is really dangerous as a passenger who is heading home. Usually they give their address to the driver to put into his or her maps. That address can always be saved and then some random person knows where you live.
    Good Job Julia!

  4. Sam 3 weeks ago

    Oftentimes, when we hear negative news about ride-sharing services, it has to do with a scandalous CEO, how they mistreat their drivers, or exorbitant price hikes. Rarely do we analyze the more poignant and existential dangers of ride sharing. Perhaps we should. This is rather telling, I think, of how easy it is to focus on the non-human aspects of tech companies. We love corporate drama, workers rights, and low prices, but we often forget about the people behind the wheel; but not as often as those in the back seat. It is morally reprehensible that ride-sharing apps consistently fail to consider the safety of rider and driver; but hardly unsurprising. Were you to expand on your work, I would be interested to hear about how location sharing and other lack-safety measures impact drivers and those who operate ride sharing services. Great post!

  5. Emily 3 weeks ago

    Julia,
    I like how you introduced your blog post with a practical example that catches the reader’s attention. I agree with your point that ride share services have several problems that users often do not consider before getting into a stranger’s vehicle. You used strong evidence from a variety of sources to support your claim. Additionally, your analysis of the quotes helps the reader understand your argument. I agree with your point that, “The consequences of location sharing have no mercy for who the passenger is, which is why it is important for the passenger to turn off their location as soon as they can.” This presents a possible solution to this problem and gives the reader practical advice.

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