As part of the process of hiring drivers, taxi companies complete an extensive criminal background check to be certain potential drivers can be trusted to carry passengers. Ride service Uber claims that it also does a rigorous criminal background check on its drivers. However, this is coming into question as regulators in a number of cities probe their practices, and some Uber drivers have been charged with sexual assault. This is even more of a concern after an Uber driver in Kalamazoo, MI, killed six people during his shift as a driver. None of his victims were his passengers, however, on the night of the crime, his passengers reported his erratic and dangerous driving to Uber.
What You Need to Know About Uber’s Hiring Practices to Stay Safe
District attorneys in San Francisco and Los Angeles have filed a civil case against Uber claiming the company deceived consumers about its driver screening process and the criminal background checks it completes. Specifically, the complaint raises the following problems with Uber’s practices:
- Uber’s criminal records checking process failed to disclose the criminal records of 25 drivers in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
- 30,000 registered sex offenders did not appear in the public registry Uber used to check criminal records of drivers. In addition, this registry only reports criminal records for the last seven years—a shorter time period than the law requires.
- The background checks failed to uncover drivers who had been convicted of sexual assault, murder, robbery, assault with a firearm, identity theft, and DUI.
- Uber fails to use Live Scan, the background check service used by most taxi cab companies which is more thorough than the registry Uber uses.
- Uber fails to use biometric identifiers—such as fingerprints—that would allow Uber to check drivers for aliases and additional criminal records.
How Uber’s Practices Can Leave You Unsafe
Uber’s practice of failing to properly screen its drivers can increase your risk of being a victim of a crime, and some drivers have already been charged or convicted of sexually assaulting riders and of committing other crimes. In addition, these drivers, who have already shown a lack of good judgment and inability to follow laws, could be more likely to engage in unsafe driving practices that could cause a vehicle accident—resulting in you suffering serious injuries like traumatic brain injury, paralysis, internal organ damage, fractures, or dying. If you were hurt in a wreck caused by an Uber driver, start an online chat or call our experienced legal team at (817) 380-4888 to schedule a free consultation.