Caution necessary when placing trust in the Uber system



Minal Patel

The unreliable nature of cabs has since been replaced by the convenience of apps like Uber. For the majority of college students, Uber has become the safe and reliable way to get anywhere. But are we putting too much trust in complete strangers and unknown vehicles? Using the app involves relying on someone one has never met before in order to safely take her to where she needs to go. Just a picture and a name is not enough to judge whether an Uber driver can be trusted, and yet billions of rides have taken place since its founding. What is it about Uber and other similar transportation companies that allows people to so easily get in a car with a stranger? Even though people are more careful in the digital age, there is a sense of trust in the 21st century that would have previously been impossible to understand. The main reason for this seems to be the vital need to get from point A to point B. If it’s more affordable and efficient, people are willing to compromise a certain aspect of their safety. Unfortunately, this often leads to people relying too freely on people they have never met before. Often, passengers will strike up conversations with the driver in the hope that commonality will bridge the awkwardness of strangers driving together. This may work in certain situations, but there is only so much one can learn about a person before their destination arrives. Although this interaction is not particularly problematic, the fact that people are able to get into a car without any information about the driver goes against many basic ideas of safety. Even the driver is put into a dangerous position—they have no idea who will be sitting in their car. 

Uber’s background checks may seem useful in preventing anyone truly threatening from becoming a driver, but this method only scratches the surface of what the company should be doing. As college students, we may be more easily inclined to get into a car with a stranger after a long night out in the hope that they’ll bring us home safely. However, this uncertainty should not be an issue. People should know for a fact that their driver can be trusted to deliver them to their destination. Uber should take more steps to make sure its independent contractors are not only morally good people but also can be trusted. This is not limited to making sure passengers have clean records. Taking steps to ensure safety will allow for better interactions between drivers and passengers. Taking an Uber alone is sometimes seen as dangerous, but if both parties were trustworthy, it would prevent any hesitations to use this mode of transportation. It is incredible that people are able to rely so heavily on Uber without facing any problems for the most part, but having this extra measure would put anyone who uses this transportation in a more comfortable position.