As rideshare drivers, we’re all used to the inevitable questions about driving from passengers: “how much do you earn? Do you like driving?” But sometimes it’s questions from loved ones that hit a little closer to the heart: “Will you be safe out there driving?”
It’s easy to see why some people think driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do – the news loves to lead with stories about carjackings, shootings, deadly accidents, etc. And while it’s obviously always a risk to get behind the wheel and shuttle around strangers, Uber in particular has taken many steps to make driving safer.
Given everything that’s going on in the United States, I’m sure you’re a little more wary about getting back on the road during this time – as was I. However, these 7 steps Uber has taken to make it safer for drivers might help ease those concerns and get you back on the road.
This article is sponsored by Uber but, as always, opinions are our own.
7 Ways Uber Has Made Driving Safer
1. Door-to-Door Safety Standard
When we interviewed drivers about why they had paused driving for Uber, one of the top three concerns was COVID: masking up, vaccinated passengers, etc.
Uber has listened to those concerns and instituted a Door-to-Door Safety Standard for drivers and passengers. These policies include:
- Mandatory masking up, for both passengers and drivers
- Safety checklist, which requires riders to confirm they’re wearing a mask properly
- Requiring all riders to sit in the back to encourage social distancing
- Drivers have the ability to cancel the ride if a passenger isn’t wearing a mask when they arrive, without any impact to a driver’s Pro status
2. Being Able To Share The Ride With Family Members
One of Uber’s main priorities is the safety of its passengers and its drivers. Uber makes it super easy for you to share your location with your family members. Knowing this is an option is extremely helpful to the person who’s driving.
Being a driver can be unnerving at times – you don’t know who’s going to get in your car, and this feature provides you with that extra peace of mind knowing that family or friends can see your live location in real-time and when the trip has ended.
Ready to get started with Uber? Sign up here!
3. Adding A Dash Cam To Your Profile
When dash cams first came out we all probably thought: what on earth would you need that for?
Well, times have changed so drastically over the past few years, and the old saying “the customer is always right” is definitely not always true! For our safety, we might need a dash camera in our car.
Having a dash cam can be a protection in so many ways.
First, it lets your passengers know right away they are being recorded on camera. Second, it protects you knowing you have everything recorded.
Whether it’s the passenger or the traffic from that day, a dash cam allows you to record your whole day and all the events you encounter on the road. This provides me peace of mind, knowing I have everything recorded should I ever need it.
Did you know you can register your dash camera with Uber? Here’s how to register your dash cam!
When you register your dash cam with Uber, Uber can send an automatic push notification to your riders to let them know that they may be recorded before they get in the car. This will help you follow local privacy laws and avoid some awkward conversations with riders about not knowing about your dash cam.
Of course, be aware of your local state’s laws when it comes to recording people, and make sure you’re disclosing it according to your state’s laws.
4. Uber Checks Up On The Ride
As much as people, especially the media, like to criticize Uber for not prioritizing drivers – they do! Especially when it comes to our safety.
Uber has a feature called RideCheck™, where they’ll check up on us if something seems to be taking too long or out of the norm for us. If we’re taking an abnormal amount of time to drop someone off or Uber detects a possible car crash, Uber will reach out to check if everything is ok.
You can see how RideCheck works in action here: RideCheck: Connecting Drivers with Help When They Need It
For instance, if you got stuck in traffic, got a flat tire, etc. Uber would want to know about it so that they can help any way they can.
We’ve all had those passengers who ask us to stop “real quick”. When I first started, I would take those rides and tell them sure. A few times I got calls from Uber because I hadn’t moved in a while.
5. Rider Verification Features
One of the newer features Uber has implemented is the rider verification process, which requires riders who use anonymous payments (like a gift card, PayPal, Venmo, etc.) when they sign up to upload a valid identification in order to prevent fraud or other malicious actions.
Once they provide their ID, the ID undergoes several validity checks to make sure the rider is who they say they are!
Throughout the process, Uber has a number of fraud detection and verification checks for account creation, trip use and more. One feature Uber uses is called Social Connect, a global feature that verifies riders using anonymous forms of payment through their social media accounts. Bet you as a driver didn’t know about that extra safety feature Uber offers us!
6. Emergency Button To Contact Police
If something goes wrong, Uber’s app has a built-in emergency button.
Well, speaking of a video…
For example, while this is an extreme and hopefully unlikely example, let’s say your passenger gets in the car and then threatens you. You can press the blue shield on the map in your app and tap 911 assistance without the passenger knowing. It will send a notification to the police and also share your location so they can find you!
This serves as discreet protection. There may be times when you can’t pick up your phone and call 911, but you can hit a simple button and your location is sent to the police without you having to say anything.
7. Provides PPE For All Delivery And Passenger Drivers
Since the beginning of the pandemic, as long as you are an active Uber driver, Uber has made it very easy for you to order face masks, sanitizer wipes, and hand sanitizer with a simple click in the app under Health and Safety Supplies – at no cost to you.
You just have to go into the app and confirm your address, and within a week or so you have all the supplies you need to be safe out there while you’re driving.
Once you have received your first set of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies, Uber then notifies you when it’s time for you to order your refills.
While driving is inherently a risk, no matter if you’re a rideshare driver or regular driver, as rideshare drivers, Uber has provided us with more ways to be safe while on the road.
From safety features like “Follow My Ride” and in-app emergency button for law enforcement, to practical things like rider verification and “more PPE”, Uber is always proactively looking for ways to keep us all safe on the road.
Ready to get started driving for Uber? Signing up is easy – get started here!
What’s your favorite Uber safety feature? Why is it your favorite?
-Tyler @ RSG