Lesson 3: Driver And Passenger Safety

Hello and welcome to the third lesson of module 2 at the Rideshare Academy. In this lesson, we will talk about the ways that Uber and Lyft pursue a professional environment through their background checks and hiring process and the benefits of maintaining a safe environment within your car through the use of cameras and phone mounts.

Whether you have completed lesson two or are just jumping in now, make sure to review the courses previous material so that you have a clear understanding of the terms and topics being covered.

The Benefits Of A Clean Background

Of course, the car itself isn’t the only thing that needs to be safe while under the banner of a rideshare company. The driver also needs to be vetted and deemed safe to both drive, and be around passengers.

Some might see this step as a little bit inconvenient. Having your history rifled through can make anyone self conscious. However, put yourself in the shoes of your prospective passengers. Wouldn’t you like to know you’re getting into a car with someone deemed safe by a major company?

As we stated in our previous lessons, the background check makes sure that the applicant does not have any criminal history or aggressive tendencies. When you hold another person’s safety in your hands it is imperative that you are calm and collected in the face of stressful situations.

Uber Background Checks And Safety

There are certain things that Uber looks for on your background check. They’re quite thorough; they check your country, state, and federal criminal records, the DMV, and the sex offender registry. They also trace your social security number.

If you have any of these things on your record in the last seven years, you may be unable to drive for Uber:

• Any felonies, violent crimes, sexual offenses or child abuse.
• Any other serious traffic-related violations, such as speeding over 100 MPH, DUIs, hit and runs, reckless driving charges, street racing, or other drug-related traffic charges.

If you have driven while having a suspended or revoked license within the last three years, you might not be eligible. Also speeding tickets, traffic light violations, non-fatal accidents, or moving violation render you unable to drive for Uber.

A Few Extra Perks

You can also now share your current trip with friends and family. This allows them to see where you are on the map, for added piece of mind. Uber also now allows you to enroll in driver injury insurance. Having this in the event that something bad happens helps make sure you’re covered for lost earnings, medical expenses, and more!

Safety Information For Lyft

Lyft, like Uber looks for certain things in your background check to make sure you’re fit for driving. This includes things like not having any felonies, DUI’s, big traffic violations, etc. As long as you don’t have any of these things, you’re golden.

However, Lyft does have several safety steps in place for the drivers, too. Following these and being aware of them can help protect you as well as your passengers.

If you recently changed your appearance, update your driver profile. This includes things like a distinguishable change in your hairstyle, adding or getting rid of facial hair, or dying your hair. This helps passengers identify you and the easier they can recognize you the more comfortable they are going to be getting into your vehicle.

Only drive in your approved car or cars. If you change cars, make sure that your profile reflects the car you’re currently driving. You can easily switch between vehicles in your driver dashboard. Don’t forget to do this; it will cause an unbelievable amount of confusion for your passengers if you do and likely make them feel unsafe.

If your passenger damages your car, never take cash from them as payment. Lyft makes it easy to report passenger-caused damage. They take care of the cost, and bill the passenger.

Leave your Lyft emblem displayed when driving. This is another one of those steps that really helps cut down on confusion. As someone whose taken Lyft before, you wouldn’t believe how hard recognizing your incoming driver can be sometimes.

As a driver, it is not in your best interest to bring other people along when you drive with Lyft. This one may seem like common sense but it’s important you understand why this can impact safety. Though rideshare companies don’t explicitly say “don’t bring your friends with you to work” it is more of an unspoken rule. Compromising the driver/passenger dynamic with a stranger will make your passengers feel unsafe.

Safety Equipment

There is certain equipment you can employ as a driver that will allow you to keep your eyes on the road at all times. for example, a phone mount! You don’t want to be fiddling with your phone while driving. Not only is it unsafe, but it’s also unprofessional.

Another great device is a dash camera or device capable of recording and dumping daily rides. This is highly recommended for new drivers. A short search on the internet shows the possibility of aggressive passengers, accidents and just bad experiences all around.

A dash cam is probably the best way to document any incidents like that. If you need proof, just Google ‘Lyft hula doll,’ and see for yourself how much a dash-cam can protect you and your driving career in a hairy event. Yes, it can be an expensive investment, but it’s worth every cent.

Booster seats are required for all children under 4 unless otherwise stated by the law.

This applies to both Uber and Lyft. For example, in New York taxi services are allowed to transport small children under the age of 4 without a booster seat. Check your state laws and make sure that all children in your vehicle are buckled in with a car seat or booster seat if required by law. UberX and UberFamily have a car seat option available for passengers in select cities.

The Best Safety Tool Is Driver Vigilence

But by far the most valuable tip is to BE PROACTIVE. Stay aware of what’s happening around you, and listen to your intuition. You alone can make your Lyft and/or Uber passenger’s experience safe.

Driver And Passenger Safety Recap

Review the material above before moving on. Below are some questions about the lesson you can answer in your head.

  1. Why are background checks important?
  2. How far back does Uber check your criminal record?
  3. Is it appropriate to bring a friend or family member along with you on a drive?
  4. What is a dash cam and how can it help keep you safe?
  5. What is the best safety tool?

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