Ride-sharing services: Are they doing enough to monitor their drivers/cars?

Sometimes I wonder; are we getting too comfortable with the ride-sharing services available to us? Are we getting a little complacent with our own well-being when getting into someone else’s car and being driven by a person we barely know, that all we care about are cheap fares?

These thoughts always arise a few minutes into the trip after booking a ride from either one of the most prominent ride-sharing services available in our country. A few days ago, those questions resurfaced.

Even if it were a McLaren, mechanical faults could ruin the whole Uber experience, right?

I requested for a ride a few days back with the company that usually offers the cheaper rate for a trip to the airport and a few things caught my attention, only just a few kilometres into the journey. While the driver’s approach behind the wheel and the car’s cleanliness was unquestionable, the state of his vehicle was.

Cruising at the legal speed limit, I can’t help but notice a few indistinguishable noises and what sounded like wheel bearing issues. While I may not be a mechanic nor an engineer of sorts, having spent nearly a decade maintaining old car(s), the latter’s noise is rather unmistakable.

On the way back, yet again, the same company was opted and what do you know, although it was a different car and driver, the same “wheel bearing-like noise” could be heard. This time the vehicle’s “interior deco” was a little “too private” for someone (myself) with a compulsive need for good visibility outside the car.

A quick snap in the dark of the sunshades and pillows placed behind the rear seats. Trust me, visibility was almost non-existent.

Most of the vehicle’s windows, especially the rear windscreen were covered with removable sunshades that’s dark enough to turn day into night and this ride was taken late into the day so you can imagine how limited and unclear the driver’s rear-view was.

As if that weren’t bad enough for any form of clarity, rear visibility was further limited with two unnecessary pillows placed by the rear windscreen. I do not expect to be driven by a professional driver but these things make me really insecure, especially when being driven by someone whose calibre behind the wheel is totally unknown to me.

This isn’t the first time and probably won’t be the last. That said, I wouldn’t go so far as to assume that all vehicles tied to ride-sharing services are of questionable condition. While it’s commendable that ride-sharing services have background checks in place along with no-nonsense approaches to their driver’s lack of discipline on the road, I think I speak for everyone in saying that more stringent “health checks” should be in place for owner’s cars, due to their higher than normal rate of usage, for everyone’s safety on the road – not just the passengers.


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