Traveling already has its inherent risks such as not knowing particularly the best neighborhoods to walk through, not always having cell service where you are, being alone without a safety net of family and friends close by, and the list continues. Using ride-sharing and home-sharing should be at least one safe option for risk averse travelers.
An Uber driver is under investigation whether he gave a ride to a passenger before commencing a shooting spree this past weekend in Michigan, killing six. Instantly coming to reader’s minds will be, well doesn’t Uber do background checks to thwart criminals from being a key data point in their business model? However, Jason Brian Dalton, the man being investigated, did not have a criminal history. This begging the question, who are you riding with, or who are you staying with when renting a room from a stranger, when a ‘background check’ has been conducted?
This incident is sure to spark a deeper look into the background checks that ride-sharing and home-sharing companies are using to vet their applicants. According to Peter Holley of the Washington Post, “the incident came just weeks after Uber settled two class-action lawsuits for $28.5 million after the company was accused of exaggerating the safety of its background checks. Despite using phrases such as “safest ride on the road” and “industry-leading background checks,” the suits claimed, the company did not check drivers against the national sex-offender registry or employ fingerprint identification.” The article further mentions other incidents involving Uber drivers with no criminal records have resulted in participants in the ride-sharing app being assaulted with a deadly weapon and battery.
An attorney, Chris Dolan, representing a 6-year girl who was struck and killed by an Uber driver this year says regarding the fine print on the company website protects the company from most if any wrong doing by the drivers. Dolan says “It completely covers their a—and says, ‘We’re not responsible for anything that happens to you, period.’”
Any savvy traveler has had their fair share of questionable experiences of which they’ve learned from. Home-sharing that uses mass background checks should definitely be a topic in the forefront of ones planning process while figuring out accommodations for their long awaited trip, and while it shouldn’t halt your traveling… creating a safety net around you and your belongings is a top priority. See how TripSafe can help protect you and your belongings while you travel!