Safety Concerns with App-Based Rideshare Services
Travelers use app-based car services because of the ease and convenience, but that doesn’t mean they should turn a blind eye to safety.
Not a day seems to go by without trending news stories about drivers assaulting passengers, threatening them with weapons or even taking travelers on high-speed chases fit for a movie script. In city after city, Uber and other peer-to-peer car sharing services have failed to take responsibility for their drivers’ actions, claiming they are not subject to local licensing requirements and ordinances as they are technology companies and not taxi or limousine services.
“Many states have proposed laws that would help reduce the risks posed by unregulated car services.”
Governments Realize Potential Hazards
The growing popularity of peer-to-peer car sharing services and the inherent dangers associated with unscreened and sometimes unlicensed drivers have led many states to spearhead legislation that would regulate these services. In May 2014, Colorado was the first state to pass regulations that govern security measures on app-based services. The state legislation mandated that rideshare companies conduct background checks on their drivers, obtain special permits to operate and have an insurance policy with least $1 million liability coverage.
Since Colorado set this precedent, many other states have followed suit, proposing laws that would help to reduce the risks posed by unregulated car services. The Washington Post noted that similar legislation has been brought to the consideration of policymakers in Arizona, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Illinois and Oklahoma. Some of the movements were successful, while others fell flat. However, the fact remains that many local governments realize that hazards can befall rideshare customers if caution isn’t used.
You Don’t Have to Sacrifice Safety for Convenience of App-Based Services
What many travelers may not realize is that many traditional car service companies have been busy reinventing themselves with the latest technology platforms. These technology solutions not only feature the “bells and whistles” associated with peer-to-peer car sharing services, but go one step further to include technological solutions built for both “on demand” and scheduled service.
“GroundLink is available in all major cities around the globe, and we’re dedicated to providing safe and convenient transportation to all our customers,” explained Dean Sivley, GroundLink’s CEO. “All our drivers are subject to a thorough screening process including background checks, and they must have the proper registration and licenses. GroundLink cars are inspected for safety and fully insured with up to $5 million of incident coverage.”
Whether you’re traveling across your hometown or around a city in a foreign country, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re safe when using tech-enabled car services.
- Make certain that your ground transportation provider is insured. Their drivers should be properly licensed and the company should stand behind their drivers.
- Make sure you know who is picking you up. In advance, your car service should provide you with the name and picture of the driver, as well as the car model and the continuous vehicle location on a real-time updated map.
- Look for a company that offers booking and payment capability through its user-friendly mobile app. You don’t want to worry about tipping, having cash on hand or waiting for paper receipts.