Women should never take a ride from a stranger because it’s dangerous – unless she’s paying the driver???
Wrong, of course. Uber and Lyft drivers provide paid rides to strangers as requested via the Uber and Lyft apps.
As of August 2018 WhosDrivingyou.org tallied the number at almost 400 rapes and probably stopped recording the sexual assaults because it has become so common. A quick Google search for “rideshare rape” pulls almost 7K results.
YeT another rideshare rape allegedly happened this week when an intoxicated woman was overcome by her driver. And before you blame the victim, JUST SHUT UP.
Almost the Perfect Crime
- The predator has no problem getting a woman into his vehicle.
- There’s an easy explanation for her DNA in the vehicle: the ride service.
- She might be intoxicated, which is a common reason for hiring a rideshare service, and intoxication means vulnerability and lack of credibility.
Has the rideshare industry created a monster?
What makes rape even easier to get away with is if the passenger passes out from intoxication.
But by no means does this mean a predator should feel confident he could get away with his crime, such as Uber driver John David Sanchez, who got 80 years for ride-related sex crimes.
A CNN investigation revealed that at least 31 Uber drivers have been convicted of crimes such as rape as well as forcible touching.
On the other hand, CNN reported the case of an Uber driver who was accused by his fare of sexual assault. He claimed it was consensual; the charges were dropped.
CNN also reported that many of the women who were sexually assaulted by the over 100 accused drivers had been drinking or were drunk at the time of the alleged crimes.
A similar investigation of Lyft by CNN also revealed numerous sexual assault accusations.
What can a woman do?
- Use Uber, Lyft (or a taxi service) only as a last resort, i.e., you can’t find someone you know to transport you.
- Make sure you’re not impaired by any substances. This is a two-edged sword because an impaired person should not drive, either. If you’re convinced ahead of time you’ll be impaired, then arrange for a trusted friend to drive you home. If you can’t find someone, then reconsider your plan on getting wasted; is it worth it?
- Arrange to use rideshare services with a companion.
- Hire only female drivers.
- Under no circumstances let a driver into your home.
- Make sure your phone has a one-touch emergency alert button that will activate first responders who can home in on your location.
Don’t assume that just because someone works for Uber or Lyft that they’re safe. Though these companies do background checks, you have to consider that some predators have a clean record because they haven’t been caught (yet).
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of Identity Theft Privacy: Security Protection and Fraud Prevention: Your Guide to Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft and Computer Fraud. See him knock’em dead in this Security Awareness Training video.