Rideshare drivers texting, drinking and watching videos while you’re in the car?

New survey shows riders feel unsafe a lot when in a rideshar.
Updated: Feb. 6, 2020 at 3:29 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -A new survey from DriversEd.com showed drivers for popular ridesharing apps might be putting riders at risk.

Some people who use services like Uber and Lyft do so to stay away from dangerous situations like drinking and driving, but the survey showed a lot of riders have felt unsafe at one time or another.

Here are the nationwide survey results:

  • RECKLESS DRIVING: 35% say they have felt their rideshare driver was driving recklessly.
  • TEXTING: 29% say they have seen the driver reading or sending texts on their phone.
  • SOCIAL MEDIA: 16% say they have seen the driver checking social media on their phone.
  • ROAD RAGE: 15% say they have had a driver who got road rage.
  • INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR: 13% say they have had a driver who spoke or acted inappropriately.
  • IMPAIRED DRIVING: 12% say they have suspected the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • VIDEO WATCHING: 8% say they have seen the driver watching a video on their phone.

Experts with DriversEd.com said riders need to do more when they see a driver putting them at risk.

“Seeing your rideshare driver engaged in any distracting or inappropriate behavior can be terrifying," senior safety and education analyst at DriversEd.com Laura Adams said. “Your safety is in their hands, so they should be 100 percent focused on the road.”

A statement from a Lyft spokesperson said, "Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and we encourage drivers to use phone mounts, focus on the road and stay fully aware of their surroundings while driving on our platform. If riders ever have concerns about distracted driving, our Trust & Safety team is available 24/7 to investigate reports and take the appropriate action to keep the Lyft community safe.”

According to Adams you have two options if your driver is doing something that makes you feel unsafe; ask the driver to stop or end the ride in a safe place.

“Many rideshare passengers may feel uncomfortable asking their driver to stop reckless behavior, but your well-being may depend on it,” Adams said. "If you feel unsafe, politely ask your driver to pay attention to the road by putting down their phone. You could ask your driver to stop at the next possible location so you can exit the vehicle.

The next thing you should consider doing is reporting the driver to the app.

“Most ridesharing apps make it easy for you to report a bad driver anonymously. There are help options that connect you with support teams," Adams said. “Giving honest feedback about a poor rideshare experience is essential, so the best drivers get more business. When a poor driver’s rating falls below a threshold, they get suspended, which is best for everyone in the rideshare ecosystem.”

19 News also reached out to Uber for a comment on the study and we have yet to hear back.

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