Uber’s background check process has fallen under criticism in the past year. This year alone there have been an alleged 67 sexual assaults are chained to Uber’s reputation in the U.S. With ride sharing a prevalent means of transportation in the Denver metro area, many University of Denver students don’t foresee a threat when hiring a driver.
This year, Uber is well on its way to beating its own driver related crimes and incidents record, despite attempts to fortify its background checking process. Is there a point where the risk is then a responsibility of the customer? University of Denver student Jeff Orr doesn’t exactly blame the drivers.
“I think there are probably more bad passengers than bad drivers,” he said, explaining that drivers have to go through a lot.
The amount of rides nationally (1 million, per day) paired up with the total alleged incidents (107 this year) may support his statement but it doesn’t necessarily make up for the companies transgressions.
“The news bring these incidents close to everyone,” Orr said, “it scares people, the violent crimes are rare but it keeps people on their toes”
Seven of the “incidents” this year were actually deaths at the fault of ride-sharing drivers according to DMR, a statistics company.
No one wants even the even smallest chance of death if they can avoid it. Luckily, none of the deaths have happened this year in Denver. In fact, there have been only three in the Denver metro area this year, all alleged assaults, under investigation.
Compared to major cities like New York and L.A. the risk is lower.
Alex Simons, a junior at the University of Denver has taken Uber rides in all three areas, L.A., New York, and Denver.
“The Denver drivers are nicer,” he says, “they ask about your day.” This is compared to New York drivers who he says “don’t car about you.” Simons believes these assaults and other charges have a lot to do with where the Uber drivers are from.
When it comes to demographics, however, everyone agrees to some extent that men aren’t taking as much of a risk as women are.
The average age of Uber drivers is between 22 and 35. 80 percent of those being men. The majority being educated with at least a bachelor’s degree.
Arrielle Roter, a graduate of DU still living in the Denver area said she would “rather not” take an Uber alone if she could help it. She didn’t need to know the statistics about assaults associated with ride-sharing to be wary of a stranger driving her around the city.