The Vulnerability with Uber & How to Stay Safe


Feature Photo by: Madison Moon – The Uber app displays on a Rangeview student’s home screen. Many high school students use the app because it’s accessible transportation but they use it, not knowing the dangers potentially presented.

Madison Moon, Opinion Reporter

Uber is consistently praised for being innovative and convenient, but there’s one aspect of the ride sharing service that is ignored: how dangerous it is for women. In 2019, there had been 3,000 reports of sexual assault, rape, sex trafficking, and kidnapping while being in an Uber. The convenience of Uber has lead to approximately 91 million people to use the app consistently. There are many dangerous aspects to it that we should consider before getting in the car. 

“I feel vulnerable because old men are driving you places and once they see you’re a young girl they seem to always stare in the mirror,” stated Dawn Connor, a junior at Rangeview High School. “It makes me feel like I am not safe anymore.” 

There had been 229 rapes committed by Uber drivers in 2019. With that being said, the rates are a lot higher than what the statistics show; 80% of incidents are not reported to the police. Many drivers are getting away with their crimes and continue to work after violating women. 

“I called an Uber because my friend’s car was too full and as he was driving me to my destination he kept grabbing my thigh,” said Rachel Etter, a junior at Rangeview High School. “I kept it to myself because I was scared.” 

There have also been reports of sex trafficking throughout the Uber app. There have been incidents where women have been tricked into thinking a sex trafficker was their Uber driver. In Tampa, Florida, Emmy Hurley was almost a victim of sex trafficking when she accidentally entered the wrong car claiming to be her Uber. After entering the car, she had received a phone call from the Uber she had actually requested. 

Hurley went to Facebook stating, “I got in before checking, as she opened the back door for me from her seat.” Emmy’s story should encourage you to ensure that the car you’re entering is actually your driver. 

A Rangeview student sits down as she waits for her Uber after school. Students should be aware and conscious when they use Uber (Moon).

With all the circumstances in mind, ensure yourself to follow these steps before entering an Uber (or Lyft):

To ensure that your ride is actually your ride:

  • Have your driver confirm your name 
  • Know what your Uber looks like
  • Check the driver’s license plate 

In case of emergencies:

  • Send your location to your family and or friends 
  • Inform your family/friends that you’re taking an Uber 
  • Keep your phone close 
  • If you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to have your driver pull over and get out
  • If possible, do not take an Uber alone 
  • Have your family/friends expect a text when you have arrived safely to your destination 

Stay safe and take all precautions when using ride sharing apps. If you wish to report an incident involving Uber contact the police or go to their website here.