How safe is rideshare? It’s a good question — there’s a giant disconnect between the stranger taking you to the airport or a restaurant and the company for whom they work.

How do you know you’re in good hands?

In northern California, a Lyft driver was arrested August 10th for allegedly sexually assaulting his 25-year-old passenger who’d requested a ride home from a local bar.

According to the arrest record, San Bruno cops picked him up on charges of raping an intoxicated person and false imprisonment with violence.

From the official document:

The victim reported that she ordered a ride from Lyft the previous evening while intoxicated at a bar in the City of San Mateo. Sometime after being picked up by the driver, the victim believed that she passed out in the backseat of the rideshare vehicle. The driver then took the victim to his residence in the City of Tracy without her request or permission, where it is alleged that he had nonconsensual intercourse with her.

It isn’t particularly difficult to believe this could happen.

Via email, a Lyft spokesperson told Business Insider it had “permanently removed” the man from its arsenal of wheel men and women.

“We responded immediately and have been in close contact with the rider since the incident. We are working with the authorities and will continue to help in every way we can.”

There are, of course, standards in hiring for the transportation titan. But that hasn’t stopped tales of terror. After all, passengers are essentially trapped in an automobile with a stranger who’s virtually unknown by their employer.

Courtesy of BI:

In order to work for Lyft, drivers must pass a comprehensive background check that also includes driving records. The company says it also employs continuous criminal monitoring that provides the company with immediate notification of any disqualifying criminal convictions.

Still, accusations and arrests are rampant on both Uber and Lyft’s apps. Last week, a man in Wisconsin was accused of sexually assaulting a passenger and another was accused of pointing a gun at a passenger. A week before that, a driver in Nebraska was arrested for an incident that occurred in May when he was accused of sexual assault.

So how do you stay safe?

Lyft offers some suggestions on its site, but they’re all related to not getting into the wrong car.

We live in a broken world; therefore, sometimes the right car is still the wrong car.

Stay safe out there. Two suggestions: Carry some method of personal defense, and don’t pass out in strangers’ cars.

-ALEX

 

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