By now, you should know how I feel about the app based ride-hailing service Lyft. I am no fan in terms of the complex issues surrounding insurance and liability issues arising out of car accidents and bodily injury. Still wearing my personal injury hat, but also as a woman, I can’t help but see the glaring creep factor issues surrounding using Lyft.
Lyft tries to sell itself as a cutesy pink mustachioed service: Fist bumps! Friends! But what about passenger safety? While Lyft’s website claims that its safety measures include: criminal background and DMV record checks on all community drivers and in-person screening, I didn’t see any of that language in its Terms of Service. Here is what I did read: “We have no control over the quality or safety of the transportation that occurs as a result of the Service; nor do We have any control over the truth or accuracy of the of Participants’ information listed on the Lyft Platform. We cannot ensure that a Driver or Rider is who he or she claims to be…” and “LYFT MAY BUT HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY TO SCREEN OR OTHERWISE EVALUATE POTENTIAL RIDERS OR USERS. USERS UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT THAT LYFT HAS NO CONTROL OVER THE IDENTITY OR ACTIONS OF THE RIDERS AND DRIVERS…[capitalization is Lyft’s not mine].” Lyft does have a brief line in its Restricted Activities that a person agrees that he or she will not “stalk” or otherwise harass any person.
I read an interesting article online about a person who went undercover as a potential driver, he was never asked for his social security number nor was he fingerprinted. He was given an in person interview that lasted a few minutes, the interviewer that did not check the VIN of the car or any safety features from what the undercover applicant could tell.
So far, I can’t see where Lyft is doing any due diligence to ensure that you don’t get a creep driver or a creep passenger. I’m currently involved in a case where someone got punched in the mouth while in a moving car (by someone this person knew!) so I can only imagine what crazy dangerous instances can occur if you are getting into a car with a complete stranger. I remember what my mom taught me, and what I learned in Safety School, don’t go anywhere with strangers.