Being a Lyft passenger comes with a series of risks, as incidents of ride-share drivers sexually assaulting, groping, harassing, and assaulting their passengers keep mounting all across the United States.
Earlier this week, a woman had to go through what she referred to as “the scariest thing I have ever gone through in my life.” After Christie Gomez ordered a Lyft ride to get to the hospital 25 miles away to meet her husband, her driver suffered a mental breakdown in the middle of the ride.
Although Lyft and Uber claim that they vet their drivers before allowing them to drive for the ride-share companies, incidents in which ride-share drivers behave erratically while behind the wheel indicate that Uber and Lyft’s vetting procedures may not be as effective and thorough as passengers hope them to be.
Lyft drivers suffer a mental breakdown in the middle of the ride
Speaking to CBS Sacramento, Gomez recalled that she had sensed something was wrong with her Lyft driver right away. Not only did her driver drive erratically, but he also allegedly covered his eyes while operating the vehicle, cried hysterically, and then laughed frantically.
The woman also recalled the driver was saying something along the lines of “I can’t go through like this anymore.” Eventually, Gomez asked her driver to pull over so she could use the bathroom at the nearest shopping center. When the Lyft driver stopped the car, the woman got out of the vehicle and rushed to the nearest Starbucks.
The Lyft driver, who allegedly suffered a mental breakdown while behind the wheel, was later found by police locked inside a bathroom at a gas station nearby. According to the police, the man covered himself in soap and was acting erratically. The police detained the Lyft driver and put him on a mental health hold.
When your Lyft drivers behave erratically or aggressively
“One can only imagine what could happen to that woman had she not asked the Lyft driver to pull over,” says our Lyft accident lawyer at Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. “One thing can be said for certain, however. The driver’s Lyft account was later deactivated and the woman was refunded.”
Even though Lyft deactivated the driver for acting erratically, we cannot help but wonder how and why the man was allowed to drive for Lyft in the first place. Didn’t Lyft notice anything odd about the driver during the vetting procedure (if the procedure ever took place)?
Many questions are left unanswered, but it is undeniable that this was not an isolated occurrence. It is not the first time Lyft and Uber passengers complain about the erratic, violent, aggressive or otherwise dangerous behavior of their ride-share drivers.
Safety tips for Lyft passengers to follow
Riding with Lyft or Uber poses many safety risks for the passenger, which is why our experienced Lyft accident attorney in Los Angeles has outlined several safety tips every passenger should follow when requesting a ride via the Lyft or Uber app.
- Check the driver’s rating (and it is always a good idea to cancel a ride if the driver’s rating is below 4 stars or the driver has not been rated yet).
- Never ride in the front seat, because passengers who ride in the front seat are more likely to become victims of sexual assaults, groping, and other unwanted sexual advances and harassment.
- Open Google Maps and follow along, noting any odd route changes.
- If something feels not right about the driver or the way he behaves, listen to your gut (ask him to pull over and get out, or call 911).
- Always share your Lyft trip details with your family and/or friends (and notify them when you arrive at your destination safely).
Lyft, Uber, and other ride-share apps can be quite risky and scary for passengers, especially women. You never know what to expect from your driver. If you have been harmed in a Lyft accident, do not hesitate to speak to our Los Angeles Lyft accident attorney from the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg. Schedule a free consultation by calling 310-997-0904.