People all across the world are searching for methods of saving money, and one of the most popular ways is to use a car sharing service. This is where people can hire a car for a few hours instead of the whole day. In short, it is making it practical for people not to own a car and just hire one. However, this young industry may find itself in hot water after an alleged raping took place.
Companies like Uber and Sidecar allow people to hire a car to come pick them up using their smartphone. However, the popularity of this service has now been thrown into turmoil after a rider said that she was raped by the limo driver that came to pick her up. The limo driver for Uber is accused of raping a 20-year-old female in Washington, D.C. Right now the claims are being investigated by police to determine if the driver is actually going to be charged with raping the young passenger.
Although this event occurred in the United States, it could cause problems for companies that offer these kinds of services all over the world. Mostly, this will be caused by all of the negative press this event has caused. It has people wondering just how safe these services really are.
To make matters worse for Uber, it has been brought to light that Uber hired the driver in question from a Craigslist ad. The background check on this driver lasted only 45 minutes, and about 25 minutes of that was dedicate to filling out paperwork. In short, Uber was practically allowing a person they knew nothing about to pick up consumers.
Other companies that offer the same kind of service as Uber have been doing damage control. In fact, the CEO of Lyft, Logan Green, just recently did an interview on this matter. He said that his company has a hiring process for drivers that is better than any other company on the market.
It is well known that Lyft was originally only interested in hiring female drivers. They believe that this would make consumers feel more comfortable. This idea was later thrown out. It is possible they threw out this idea over safety concerns for their female-only drivers.
Either way, Lyft still has very strict qualifications. For example, a driver is automatically disqualified from working for them if they have been involved in more than one accident over the past three years. They are also disqualified if they have received two traffic tickets over the same time frame.
Regardless of what companies do to check their employees, it is impossible for any company to make sure that the people they hire are 100% safe, and this is a problem the industry is now going to have to address. Can young women riding alone really be safe while using this service? Is car sharing of this nature going to become a niche market for group riders instead of people traveling solo? In the end, it all comes down to if this driver gets charged with rape or not.