Driver Screening and Hiring: Who is Driving Your Uber or Lyft Ride?


July 12, 2016

Uber and Lyft are two tremendously popular ride-sharing companies. These companies provide fast, convenient, and affordable rides to people across Georgia. While generally applauded as a great alternative to taxis, there have been some safety questions raised concerning Uber and Lyft since their inception.  For example, one website has made it their mission to call awareness to the risks of Uber and Lyft in an effort to promote ridesharing safety. The website http://www.whosdrivingyou.org lists all known incidents involving Uber and Lyft drivers. The list of injuries and deaths is growing and includes a recent pedestrian death in Philadelphia due to an Uber driver. These incidents raise questions about just who is driving you and your family as well as what background checks have been completed before you get in someone's car through Uber or Lyft.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we believe all riders should be able to get into a ridesharing vehicle or a taxi and feel safe. We have also assisted many individuals injured in ridesharing and taxi accidents. Such accidents can leave victims seriously injured and raise a host of legal issues. At Montlick & Associates, we provide caring and individualized attention clients injured in ridesharing or taxi accidents, striving to achieve for them the compensation they deserve. 

The Uber and Lyft Screening Process

Both Uber and Lyft tout their quick and simple hiring process. Lyft and Uber both also run background checks on drivers, which include checks for criminal activity as far back as seven years. The companies will additionally check the potential driver's driving record and employment history. Uber drivers may never be interviewed in person, while Lyft drivers participate in a "mentoring" program where they are trained before accepting a ride.

Both companies have received criticism, and in some areas have even been sued, for not fingerprinting drivers. Fingerprinting provides some vital information that a background check will not. For instance, a fingerprint-based criminal background check will review the potential driver's full criminal history back to 18 years of age. Alternatively, a mere background check without fingerprints can miss violent convictions or sex offense charges that date back more than seven years.

Austin, Texas passed legislation requiring Uber and Lyft to fingerprint drivers as part of the background check process. Uber and Lyft, however, have resisted this requirement. They are opposed to fingerprinting mainly due to cost, a process which includes expenses up to $100 per new driver. Lyft left the Austin market due to the law, and Uber is struggling to adapt.

Stay Safe While Traveling with Lyft or Uber

If you retain the services of Uber or Lyft in the near future, take some steps to protect yourself. Look for a driver with numerous favorable reviews. Verify the driver's identity when he or she arrives by using the name, photo, and license plate number of the vehicle that is provided on the app. If possible, do not travel alone and maintain contact with friends and relatives. Uber and Lyft can provide a great way of traveling, but caution should be exercised to ensure you have a safe experience.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, are here to help. For over 30 years, our law firm has assisted thousands of accident victims throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.