Rideshare Drivers Have it Rough When It Comes To Safety
There are many horror stories about the experiences riders have had with their rideshare drivers, and also quite a few tragic ones. As a former Uber driver, I have had some great experiences, but also some pretty weird and kind of creepy ones.
One night I picked up a male passenger, and he spent the whole ride trying to convince me to come up to his apartment so that he could perform multiple sexual acts. When I would politely decline, he would switch topics and start talking about why we should kiss. When we did get to his apartment, he lingered to ask me if I was sure that I didn’t want to come up to his apartment. I ended up having to tell him that another passenger was waiting for me and I really had to go. It took about 10 minutes for me to convince him to get out of my car.
Another night, I picked up a guy, and this lady and they were arguing about how they almost got caught doing something (and I’m definitely sure it was criminal). They had two stops, and the lady was just arguing saying they needed to go to another store. The guy basically told her that they almost got caught and that he just wanted to go home. Then he turned to me and was like “Don’t you want to go home?” Meekly, I answered, “Yea, I want to go home.” I spent that whole ride freaking out because basically, they were talking about their criminal activities in front of me, which meant I was a liability, which means that I wasn’t going home! But since I’m writing this, obviously I made it out of that alive.
There was one guy I picked up, for a very short ride, and the moment he started talking, I felt terrible vibes. He started telling me that he was told that if you take a girl out to a bar in Florida..or buy her a drink, you could have sex with her. I let him know that was not what happened in many situations. He ended up on the phone with his grandmother, and from the conversation, I realized he was down here for rehab. After his bizarre conversation where he shouted at her about how he didn’t steal something and then quietly said I love you before hanging up, he asked me if I go to bars. This happened in the span of about maybe 15 minutes, and I just remembered feeling like my imminent death was upon me.
One passenger called rideshare later than he should have to go from Miami (around Collins Ave) to the Fort Lauderdale Airport for a flight that I believe was leaving in about an hour and a half. Mind you, it was the middle of rush hour. When I arrived at his residence, he was visibly frustrated and broke the handle off one of my car doors. Instead of apologizing he held it up and looked at me like it was my fault the handle was broken. He was probably one of the rudest passengers I ever had.
Aside from my own personal experiences, I have seen videos of drunk riders taking the steering wheels from their drivers and heard stories about attempted carjackings. As a rideshare driver, you are tasked with looking out for your own safety as well as the safety of your rider and the other drivers on the road. That is a difficult task when your passengers give reasons for you to be concerned about your own safety.
Of course, needless to say, my experience as a rideshare driver wasn’t all bad. Aside from the instances mentioned above, a few drunk passengers asking me where we’re going, and a surprise trip from Miami Airport to Vero Beach, I’ve had the opportunity to meet quite a few interesting people, hear about a lot of cool stories and experiences and have some fantastic conversations.
Hopefully, rideshare companies will continue to make improvements that will keep both passengers and drivers safe.