Now more than ever, ridesharing apps have become a crucial component of society. You can quickly call a ride to you at almost any location and likely receive faster service than you would with a traditional taxicab company. With that said, safety is a major concern for many passengers, whether they are riding in a Uber or a taxi. While there’s no clear-cut answer to which service is definitively safer, examining how they manage safety can help you make informed decisions. In this post, as part of our travel blog tips, we’ll delve into how safe are rideshares compared to taxis. 

Safety Features: Rideshare vs. Taxis

Most big-name ridesharing apps have built-in features designed to enhance safety. Before even getting into the car, you should see your driver’s name, photo, and vehicle details. This prevents you from getting into a stranger’s car if they attempt to pretend to be your driver. While riding, you can track your driver’s location in realtime and ensure they don’t deviate from the planned route. You can also share trip details with friends and family, including the driver’s info and estimated arrival time. Some apps even allow you to call emergency services directly. 

Traditional taxis often have different safety measures than those you might find in the Uber or Lyft app. Many taxis are equipped with security cameras that record audio and video during the ride, which can help display what happened if an incident occurred. Most taxi companies also conduct background checks of prospective drivers, but the thoroughness of these checks depends on the company and local laws.  

Driver Screening and Accountability

Ridesharing companies screen drivers through background checks, but the specific requirements differ. Checks can include factors like license validations, verifications of criminal history, and DMV checks. A rideshare driver’s car will also usually be checked to ensure it meets safety standards. Vehicle checks can significantly reduce the risk of a collision and subsequent rideshare accident lawsuit against the parent company. 

Traditional taxi companies can use various methods to hold their drivers accountable for their conduct behind the wheel. Dispatchers track taxi locations and routes, allowing for monitoring and intervention if necessary.Taxi drivers are also usually required to adhere to passenger service standards and company regulations. 

Watch this video to get a glimpse of the differences between traditional taxis and Uber/Lyft in NYC:

Handling Safety Incidents

Despite precautions, it’s unfortunately inevitable that some drivers will likely experience a dangerous or unsafe situation, whether taking a rideshare or traditional taxi ride. If you feel unsafe at any point during a trip, it’s essential to contact emergency services for immediate assistance and report the incident once the ride has safely ended.

If you experience a safety incident during an Uber or Lyft trip, you can report the situation to the company within the app itself. Response times and actions taken can vary, but the rideshare company’s support team may contact the driver, assist with filing police reports, or deactivate the driver’s account entirely. 

How Safe Are Rideshares compared to taxis
Photo by Austin Distel on

For traditional taxi services, a passenger can report a dangerous situation directly to the taxi company’s dispatch center. Depending on the severity of the situation at hand, dispatchers can then contact the driver or involve law enforcement.

How Safe Do Passengers Think Rideshares & Taxis Are?

Rideshare apps offer ease of use and transparency, which can help some passengers feel safe. Knowing who your driver is, being able to share your trip details, and having a “panic” option in the app to call for help directly can set a rider’s mind at ease and reassure them that help is available if needed.

On the other hand, traditional taxis may be perceived as safer for those who are more familiar with them than the recent trend of rideshare apps. Riders may be more inclined to trust in the heavily regulated taxi industry, given that drivers are licensed and operating easily identifiable vehicles. 

Staying Safe on Your Travels

Both ridesharing apps and traditional taxis offer unique safety features and considerations. Traditional taxis benefit from established protocols and regulations, while ridesharing apps offer advanced technology to keep riders safe on the road. Ultimately, the “safer” option depends on the individual rider’s risk tolerance and priorities. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each service, you can make an informed choice that increases your comfort on the way to your destination.