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Would you be surprised if I told you that most Lyft drivers are men? The few times I requested a Lyft ride, I always had a male driver, but that's just my experience. It wasn't that long ago when less than 15% of Lyft drivers were female. Is it because females simply do not want to become ride share with Lyft, or do other reasons prevent them? Their safety might be at stake; with that said, is it safe to be a female Lyft driver?
At times, it is not safe to be a female Lyft driver. Female drivers face dangers when accepting a Lyft request. Occurrences of sexual assault and harassment among female drivers are increasing. Lyft has no precautions to prevent these incidents from happening to female drivers.
If you are a female and want to become a Lyft driver or are already one, look through this article, where I will review the dangers females who work for Lyft face and tips on keeping yourself safe against a potential wrongdoer. Read on to understand why companies like Lyft have more male than female drivers for Lyft.
Is It Safe To Be A Female Lyft Driver?
Many female drivers for Lyft have revealed the unfortunate incidents they faced or almost faced during a drive. Cosmopolitan took the initiative to raise awareness and publish female Uber and Lyft drivers statements who got caught up in uncomfortable situations.
A statement from Carly, 36, a driver for Lyft, reads that she was driving a male who was clearly intoxicated to his destination. He attempted to touch her during the entire ride and continually asked for her number. Even after many efforts to stop him, he reached over the center console and touched her thigh.
She immediately ended the drive and told the man she would call the cops. Throwing away the money you could have earned is upsetting, but your personal safety comes first in these events.
It seems that it is not only males who pester female Lyft employees but females too. ShaQueta, 35, revealed three incidents where she was confronted by a White married couple, two White girls, and a White couple. She explained how they wanted her to go home with them because they, I quote, “have never been with a Black girl before”.
They used vulgar language, were touchy-feely, and harassed her. She felt embarrassed and disgusted by the situation and even reported the White girls to Lyft for their crude behavior. Fortunately, Lyft responded with an apology and immediately deactivated the passengers.
The stories above are only two of many other reported or unreported incidents. Although it can be risky working as a female driver; however, it can be safe if you take precautions and act as soon as you are confronted with an uneasy situation.
Commonly, females experience more of these encounters than males (males can also get caught up in these situations). This is why more male than female drivers work for Lyft or similar ride-hailing companies.
The Statistics For Female Lyft Employees
Lyft has two million drivers operating in the United States and Canada as of 2022. In 2021, only 21% of drivers were female, 72% were male, and 7% preferred not to disclose their gender identity.
Many still believe that males are better drivers than females; even if this myth has proven to be accurate, there is more to the story of why females are the minority of drivers.
For interest's sake, females who request Lyft rides are apprehensive about entering a car with a male driver. Thus, female riders prefer ride-hailing with female drivers. And the data shows us exactly why.
- 15% of female passengers revealed an uncomfortable experience with a male driver.
- 7% of female passengers felt uneasy during a ride.
- 6% of female passengers felt unsafe or vulnerable.
- +/- 3% of female passengers were assaulted or almost assaulted.
How Can Female Lyft Drivers Keep Themselves Safe at all times?
To ensure your safety as a female Lyft employee, I outlined a few things you can do before accepting a ride request. You must have security during the ride as well. Here are tips I suggest for every female driving for Lyft:
- Install a dashcam and ensure the audio is on. This is the best system to keep yourself safe, as it also provides proof of the events. You can inform the rider that the dashcam is installed per Lyft's requirements and for insurance purposes.
It usually deters the rider from acting and behaving inappropriately. Alternatively, if you do not have a dashcam, take a picture of the rider.
- Keep the Lyft application open and stay logged in during the rides. If something happens, you can easily be located by the police.
- Put at least two family or friends' numbers on speed dial if things go south. The fastest way to let them know is by dedicating one word or phrase to signify you are in danger.
For example, tell a friend or family member before you go on drives that calling or sending them a text message with this specific word or phrase means you are in danger, and they should call the police.
- Check the ratings of the passenger. Lyft also incorporated a rating system for drivers. Drivers can rate their customers, too, and vice versa. It may not always ensure your safety, but it helps you pinpoint the passengers who have given other drivers problems.
Problems such as aggressive drunks, rude riders, and riders who displayed inappropriate behavior. Do your part too. If you pick up a customer and it is their first Lyft drive, make certain you rate their behavior, too to help other females stay safe.
- Prepare your car before accepting the customer's request. Fill your gas tank, ensure your wheels are pumped, and your vehicle is in good condition. This way, your vehicle will not break down in the middle of anywhere where anything can happen to you.
- I know we all try to make ends meet; nowadays, money is tight. But for your safety as a female, try to avoid taking driving requests at night. If you choose to accept a request late at night, try to stay safe by following the safety tips mentioned above.
- Choose your time wisely. As a Lyft driver, you decide when you want to work and how long. I recommend not driving between 10 PM and 5 AM as this is the riskiest period and unsafe for females.
- Check out the location before accepting a request. Review the location the passenger wants you to pick them up from. Get them if the area seems okay and you feel safe driving there! But if you feel uncertain about a particular location, it's better to be safe than sorry.
- As a Lyft driver, you have the right to cancel the drive whenever you feel uncomfortable. If you arrive at their pick-up location and sense danger, you can immediately cancel the drive and return home. Lyft deactivates their drivers if they cancel after accepting customer requests too much, but keep in mind that your security and safety are top priorities.
Female drivers for Lyft need to be prepared for dangerous situations. Many female drivers revealed that they had been sexually harassed and assaulted by a passenger. However, we should stay mindful of the fact that male employees may also face the same predicaments. Events like this happen more to females than male drivers; therefore, there is a higher percentage of male than female drivers (so no, it might not be because men are better drivers).
The precautionary tips I provided are proven methods to ensure your safety, and hopefully, many female and male drivers enforce them. We all want to make a living, and unfortunately, some people have no regard for their actions; with that said, your well-being is far more crucial.