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The Pros and Cons of Ridesharing

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Chapter 4

The Pros and Cons of Ridesharing

Rideshare apps come with incredible convenience, but they also have hidden downsides.

vector graphic showing a scale with the pros and cons of ridesharing on either side of the scale

Whether you drive yourself or ride as a passenger, there’s always a risk to being on the road.

The companies have safety features like those mentioned above, but ridesharing still has pros and cons.

Benefits of Rideshare

  • You don’t have to drive your own car when you’re going out.
  • You don’t have to contact a taxi company and wait for an available driver.
  • You can search several different apps at the same time to find the quickest ride.
  • You don’t have to pay the driver directly—it’s all through the app.
  • Ridesharing helps reduce car emissions.
  • Prices are cheaper than taxi companies and more comfortable than public transportation.

Downsides to Rideshare

  • You can get into the wrong vehicle if you don’t double-check your information beforehand.
  • Drivers risk picking up intoxicated customers who might make a mess in their vehicles.
  • Low-rated drivers and passengers get banned from the apps, but it often takes a while for this to happen, so it is possible for you to get a bad match.
  • Drivers are more at risk for car accidents since they are on the road for more extended periods while serving others.

Are Rideshares Safe?

With rideshare drivers making millions of trips every day, most of them happen without incident.

Still, rideshare companies have put policies in place to protect both the passengers and the drivers.

Uber released their safety report in 2019.

This report included data about assaults and fatalities that happened during paid rides.

The analysis showed them that they needed to put extra safety features on their app.

When Uber screens their fleet, they share the information with other rideshare companies.

Uber’s screening helps ensure protection for all passengers, regardless of which app they use.

Uber also added a verification system that allows passengers to double-check that they’re getting into the right car.

An option built into the app enables passengers to record the drive if they feel uncomfortable.

Both drivers and passengers can call for emergency services from the app.

Because the app shows the progress of your trip, you’ll be able to give the dispatchers your exact location.

Lyft has extensive safety features that start before a driver is authorized to work through the app.

The company checks each driver’s DMV records and searches county and federal court records for criminal offenses.

Passengers see their driver’s picture and license plate number when they book the ride, so they’ll know they’re getting in the right car.

Drivers can also see their passengers’ names and photos before they pick up the customer.

Both drivers and passengers rate each other and leave feedback, so there is an incentive for everyone involved to be kind and civil.

The company will review anyone who scores less than four stars.

There are ways to be safe when you’re ridesharing. Some safety tips include:

  • Verify your driver’s identity before getting in the car.
  • Let family and friends know you’re ridesharing, and tell the driver that others know where you are.
  • Always buckle your seatbelt.

Little-Discussed Topic: Rideshare Insurance

Many rideshare drivers aren’t aware that their standard insurance might not cover their car when driving for hire.

Rideshare companies insure their drivers, but those policies have limits.

Rideshare apps cover drivers when they are on their way to pick up a passenger and when the passenger is in the vehicle.

If they’re available, driving around, and waiting to find a customer, the company’s insurance won’t cover them.

Because you’re using the car for business at that time, it might also be tough to get your insurance to pay for the damage.

Getting rideshare insurance through your provider covers that gap.

For some companies, you only need to get a rideshare endorsement on top of your regular insurance.

Others require you to have separate rideshare insurance.

Either way, these policies ensure you won’t pay out of pocket.

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