As much as we would love to think that both Uber and Lyft are safe for female passengers and drivers, unfortunately, we still hear plenty of unpleasant stories from female drivers and passengers alike.
While the vast majority of women are concerned about their safety when riding with Lyft – after all, they are hopping into a car with a total stranger who could be dangerous – one of the biggest questions is, “How safe is Lyft for female drivers?”
We have to give both Uber and Lyft credit for rolling out multiple measures to ensure female passengers’ safety, one of which was to make sure that the drivers are properly vetted through background checks. But the safety of female drivers at Lyft remains at risk because there is no way to completely vet passengers.
If you are considering driving for Lyft or Uber as a woman, you might want to read the following information. We asked our Los Angeles Lyft accident attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg to put together a list of key safety tips for female ridesharing drivers.
Check the rider’s rating
Before accepting a ride, check the passenger’s rating. Thankfully, both Lyft and Uber have two-way rating systems, which allow drivers to rate their passengers after a ride, and vice versa. While this feature alone cannot guard your safety and protect you from all woes, it can potentially help you avoid aggressive, rude, drunk, and otherwise dangerous and unpleasant passengers with questionable intentions. A rule of thumb is that if the passenger’s rating is below four stars, you should avoid that rider.
Give ratings to help other women
While you can benefit from Lyft’s rating system yourself, you can also help other female drivers and passengers. Do not forget to rate a passenger after a ride is over, especially if you felt unsafe or in danger throughout the ride, or if the passenger made you uncomfortable in any way. Did the passenger touch you inappropriately? Or did he make inappropriate comments or hint about going to his place? Make sure you warn other female drivers about this.
Be prepared for the ride
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when driving a total stranger, especially at night, is forgetting to maintain your car and/or fuel up before accepting a ride and breaking down in the middle of the ride. So ensure that your vehicle is always in good condition.
If possible, avoid driving at night
Unlike the vast majority of employers, both Uber and Lyft allow their drivers to choose when they want to work (you are an independent contractor for a reason, after all). If you are a woman driving for Lyft, it is highly advised that you choose times wisely and avoid driving between 10 pm and 5 am, when conditions become less safe and the risk of encountering a dangerous passenger increases tenfold.
Avoid unsafe areas
“Just as it is important to avoid driving at night, it is also vital to avoid certain areas where your safety might be at risk,” says our experienced Lyft crash lawyer in Los Angeles. Avoid areas, streets, and neighbors with a known history of violence and crime and also the areas with a cluster of drunk young males (bars near campuses and sports venues, etc.). Also, if a pick-up or drop-off location is not well-lit, consider stopping your vehicles somewhere else with adequate lighting.
Do not be afraid to cancel
While no Lyft drivers want to risk being deactivated for canceling rides too often, do not forget that your safety is the most important thing. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable when you arrive to pick up a rider, do not be afraid to cancel. Or if you call the rider and there is something in his voice that sends shivers down your spine, it is a good idea to cancel.
If you have been in a Lyft accident as a female or male driver, speak to our attorney at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Schedule a free consultation by calling 310-997-0904 or completing this contact form.