Recognizing the potential dangers Uber riders may face if they mistakenly get into a wrong vehicle, Uber is now offering riders a four-digit pin code to help ensure they’re getting into the right car. Learn more about this safety feature by reading today’s blog.
New Pin Number Safety Feature
Uber has already provided riders with license plate numbers and the make and model of cars to double check before getting into a vehicle. Now, Uber is implementing an extra level of security for its riders. This new safety feature comes after tragedy struck for a 21-year old South Carolina student named Samantha “Sami” Josephson. Tragically, Ms. Josephson was kidnapped and murdered in March of last year after getting into a car of a man impersonating an Uber driver.
How Does the New Feature Work?
Here’s how the new feature works. Uber will send a four-digit pin to the rider. Then, before getting into a car, the rider tells the driver the pin code. The driver enters the pin code into the app, and if everything matches up, the rider gets a notification that says, “your ride is verified.”
Rebecca Payne, a senior product manager for Uber who helped develop the feature, explains that riders “can see the confirmation before getting into the vehicle and don’t have to take the driver’s word for it.” Also, riders will still have the choice whether or not to use Uber’s new pin code feature. Another option for users is to only use it at night.
Problems with Safety Issues
Unfortunately, both Uber and Lyft have had significant problems with safety issues. According to a report from Uber from December 2019, over 464 people (primarily riders) had been raped while using its services in 2017 and 2018. Moreover, there were over 3,000 assaults reported in 2018 alone. In fact, there have been many lawsuits against Uber and Lyft stemming from assaults.
Opting to investigate these safety issues further, last fall, Congress held hearings on these safety issues with ride sharing companies. But Uber and Lyft skipped the Congressional hearings.
Their refusal to participate in the legislative process was glaring to legislators. It served only to fuel the onus to do more in the way of safety regulation for the ride-sharing companies.
Legislation to Tackle the Safety Problems
Over the past few years, many states have passed special laws mandating additional safety requirements for companies like Uber and Lyft. For example, in New Jersey, where the 21 year old victim was from, they passed a law referred to as “Sami’s Law” named after the young woman killed by the Uber driver impersonator. Sami’s Law requires ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to identify vehicles with signs and require drivers to carry barcode ID cards.
Congress also recently introduced a bill that would require drivers to have a quick response code that a driver could scan with a smartphone. The bill also seeks to prevent anyone but the ride sharing companies from selling Uber and Lyft signs.
The bottom line is that Uber and Lyft riders should take advantage of all available safety features being offered by these ride-sharing companies to protect themselves. If you or a loved one find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you are injured in a Lyft or Uber vehicle, contact a Jupiter or Port St. Lucie Personal Injury Attorney to find out your legal rights.