Growing up, we were told not to hitchhike with strangers, but we now blithely disregard that time-tested advice when we get into an Uber or a Lyft with a stranger at the wheel. Driving for Uber or Lyft empowers, enables and emboldens sexual predators because it ensures close proximity to a steady supply of captive, vulnerable, sometimes intoxicated victims.
It’s a pleasant fiction to believe that riding in an Uber or Lyft is no more dangerous than riding in a taxicab, and that Uber and Lyft thoroughly check their drivers’ criminal histories. The reality is very different. Most cities require taxi drivers to be fingerprinted because fingerprints cannot be readily faked, and fingerprinting is the gold standard to check criminal histories. Uber and Lyft consistently resist and lobby against such a requirement for their drivers. The sad result is a steady series of predictable, obvious and preventable sexual assaults of passengers by Uber and Lyft drivers.