Here’s Why App-Based Drivers Need Comprehensive Background Checks

Last year around this time, rideshare giant Uber released its first ever safety report for the year 2018. The report contained some alarming numbers, though the company made certain to try to put the numbers in perspective, stating that these events only occurred in 0.0002% of rides.

It showed 3,045 reported sexual assaults, 9 murders, and 58 people killed in crashes during Uber rides. They also made sure to clarify that these crimes were not all committed by Uber drivers and that they included crimes against drivers, as well. However, in 92% of the rape cases tied to Uber, the victims were riders, though the company says that drivers reported assaults at around the same rate as passengers.

Despite assurances from the company that these numbers simply reflect the realities of our society, they also represent a very real issue. Both Uber and Lyft, the two main ride-hailing services across the country, require that drivers have a background check, but the numbers don’t lie. How are so many unscrupulous and potentially dangerous drivers slipping through the companies’ background checks?

There have been concerns about the background check services used by Uber and Lyft for years now. Several lawsuits have been filed against the companies in cases where they’ve hired dangerous people and their background checks failed to flag drivers as such, and several rideshare drivers with both companies have filed lawsuits against their background check services for providing false or misleading information, mixing their records up with other people, and other security snafus. These incomplete and inaccurate background checks have caused major problems.

In California, a proposition was recently put before voters to create a new job designation for rideshare drivers and help better regulate how app-based drivers are treated and what’s expected of them. It passed, with 60% of voters agreeing with the measure. Prop 22, along with giving app-based drivers basic employment protections, will also require that local and national background checks be performed to ensure that drivers aren’t a hazard to the public (section 7458), and allows companies to put continuous monitoring into place with no additional consent. It also requires that background checks be kept up to date.

While the bulk of Prop 22 is intended to restructure the employment classification for rideshare drivers, one can hope that it will lead the companies to invest in more comprehensive background checks and more accurate continuous monitoring services.

Wondering how VettFirst services stack up against bulk, budget background screening services like Uber and Lyft use? Contact us for a free consultation!

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