After University of South Carolina senior Samantha Josephson was murdered after getting in the wrong Uber car, concerns are being raised across the country as to the safety of using car services such as Uber and Lyft. However, students at BGSU are still more likely to call a car service to get home at night rather than walk.
“There’s always a danger to traveling alone at night as a female,” Alayna Pearson, freshman VCT major, said. “But if anything, I would rather get an Uber to travel home in the dark than walk home in the dark.”
Pearson isn’t alone in her sentiment. Senior exercise science major Hunter Amburn believes being out at night is dangerous as it is and using car services doesn’t increase this danger any further.
“I’m not gonna stop using the services,” Amburn said. “You could literally be walking down the streets of Bowling Green and get shot. Just because it’s a car service, like it’s not any different from getting in a taxi in New York City.”
However, with the death of Josephson, junior adolescent and young adult education major Moriah Garcia is more motivated to be cautious when using car services.
“You have to be more cautious about knowing that there are people who will take advantage of systems like that and you have to expect the worst but hope for the best,” Garcia said.
There are ways to be more cautious when using either Uber or Lyft. Amburn always checks the plates before getting into a car from either service.
“(Uber and Lyft) tell you the plates and the description of the car. And I’ve gotten them both and I’ve gotten the description and the plates on both of them. I don’t know cars, so I look for the plates,” Amburn said.
Garcia also recommends checking that drivers know who you are before getting in the car.
“Make sure they can tell you who they are picking up,” Garcia said.
By checking to make sure the driver knows who their passengers are, passengers can make sure their driver is legitimate.
Uber and Lyft are also taking steps to make passengers as safe as possible when using either car service.
Uber began doing consistent background checks of their drivers in April 2018, after experiencing a wide range of incidents with drivers. Requirements for Uber drivers can be found at https://help.uber.com/partners/article/what-does-the-background-check-include?nodeId=6970e704-95ac-4ed3-9355-e779a86db366 .
Lyft also does extensive checks on their drivers before allowing them to become a driver and continues to monitor their drivers after initially clearing them to drive. Requirements for Lyft drivers can be found at https://help.lyft.com/hc/en-us/articles/115012925687-Driver-requirements .
Overall, although there have been incidences over the years due to usage of car services such as Uber and Lyft, students are still likely to use the services, just in a more cautious manner.