Students question the safety of using Uber

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Courtesy of Photosforclass.com

An Uber driver uses the GPS to get his rider to their destination. Although Uber claims to have safe drivers, students question the saftey of the pro- gram due to the accidents some Uber drivers have been in.

Lauren Kling, Staff Writer

Most people call a taxi when they need to get places, but with Uber, one can press a button on their phone to get a car. However, some people question the safety of middle school students using Uber on their own.

According to uber.com, Uber is a mobile app that allows one to request a car and pay for it manually. Once a customer requests a car, Uber sends the closest driver to the pick up location.

Uber was founded in 2008 by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp. The two gentlemen were traveling in Paris and had trouble calling a cab, so they came up with the idea of pressing a button to get a ride. Uber originally started operating in a few busy cities, but has since expanded into almost 400 cities worldwide. The service fair is $1.70, and the minimum fair is $5.

There are a few advantages of utilizing Uber.

“Uber is about 35% less than a taxi, and the cars are cleaner because we are driving our own cars,” said Scott Peters, Uber driver.

Some students believe Uber has more availability than taxis.

“Uber is more efficient than a taxi because Uber cars are available everywhere,” said Maddie Sweeny, an eight grader.

Costumers have reported liking the program because it is easy to understand. Additionally, clients don’t need to worry over having a credit card or money on them because the credit card riders set up with their record will automatically be charged. Parents can also communicate with drivers to ensure their child’s safety.

“Also, in a lot of cases the driver is communicating with the parents via text message for their children so the parents know when the child is picked up and when they’re dropped off,” said Peters. “This way, the parents know the child is safe and where he or she is going.”

With the good, comes the bad. First of all, according to nashvillelimo.com Uber has created a loophole in case an accident happens with their drivers or cars so they don’t get in trouble. For instance in January 2014, Uber driver Syed Muzaffer hit a six-year-old girl and killed her. The company said that the driver wasn’t logged into Uber, so they were not responsible for the death. Worse yet, it turned out that Muzaffer had previous reckless driving accidents that Uber didn’t see on their “thorough” background checks.

“Uber isn’t safe because you don’t know who the driver is, and you don’t know what they are going to do to you,” said seventh grader, Kylie Harris. “You don’t know if they are a criminal.”

However, Uber’s Code of Conduct doesn’t prohibit children from riding alone.

In June 2014, Uber driver, Daveea Whitmire, punched on of his customers in the chest after the ride when the customer tried to take a picture of the car. Even though this driver passed Uber’s background checks, he was related in other drug felonies previously in his life.

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