This past September, ride-hailing giant Lyft published new safety features, as the company faces an onslaught of allegations from passengers claiming they were assaulted by Lyft drivers. Lyft is facing numerous lawsuits from women around the nation who assert Lyft has been long aware of – but did nothing to stop – an ongoing and pervasive epidemic of sexual assaults and rapes carried out by some of its drivers.

Lyft’s new safety initiatives

As the company indicated in a recent blog post, it is now partnering with the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, a leading anti-sexual assault advocacy organization, as it seeks to enhance the level of safety for its customers. Lyft’s new drivers will be required to go through the training immediately. Existing drivers will be required to complete the training within a designated period.

Lyft has also added a new smart trip check-in feature. Through this feature, drivers and riders receive a prompt from Lyft, asking if they need assistance or informing them to call emergency services if unexplained delays are occurring with the trip.

Part of the initiative includes another safety feature known informally as a “panic button,” called in-app 911 integration. This feature allows riders and drivers to quickly alert authorities in the event of an emergency. Lyft’s direct competitor, Uber, previously added a panic button to its app.

Within the app, Lyft intends to install all of its safety features in one location for easy access. Drivers’ vehicle information and location, including license plate numbers, will be prominently displayed so emergency dispatchers can receive information of the details of the trip.

The image portrayed by Lyft vs. reality

Lyft has experienced significant growth since its beginnings in 2012, partly due to its marketing strategy to fashion itself as an alternative socially aware company safe for female riders, as opposed to Uber. However, the reality has been quite different.

Recent lawsuits against Lyft have alleged the company of being reluctant to institute new safety features in its app and perform adequate background checks on its drivers. The company’s new 911 in-app emergency button was preceded by Uber launching the same feature in 2018. And, Lyft’s version is still currently unavailable to its entire network of customers.

The recent lawsuits against Lyft propose other solutions the company can use to keep its passengers safer. These include installing audio and video recording devices inside cars, sending messages to the passenger and driver when a trip goes off course, and prohibiting drivers from turning off the app in the middle of a trip.

At Warren & Kallianos, PLLC, we are committed to helping you secure the full compensation you deserve if you have sustained injuries while using the services of a ridesharing company. Our Charlotte attorneys provide aggressive advocacy and smart litigation strategies to help you achieve success in your claim. To arrange a free consultation about your case, give us a call today at 704.275.5593 or complete our contact form.