Home Opinions Bobcats should be weary of Uber in light of recent criminal cases

Bobcats should be weary of Uber in light of recent criminal cases

Illustration by: Ninette Solis | Staff Illustrator

Somehow, the age-old rule of not getting into cars with strangers has been completely demolished in the name of ride-hailing services.

Uber, arguably the most prominent ride-hailing service, has faced several complaints and issues in regard to safety, yet people—especially millennials—continue to use it. So unless students want to be on the next episode of Without a Trace, it is wise to use discretion when asking a stranger for a ride.

Recently, an Uber driver based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, went on a killing spree in a seven-hour window. Jason Brian Dalton’s motive is still unknown, but in between the murders he still found time to pick up a few fares—how nice of him.

The last fellow who got a ride from Dalton jokingly asked, “You’re not the shooter, are you?” Talk about a joke that hits close to home.

The sad thing is this is not the first time Uber has brushed steering wheels with violent drivers. Instances in the past include an Uber driver striking and killing a 6-year-old girl and a chauffer choking someone out.

Naturally, any human being would feel safe being kidnapped, assaulted, fondled or attacked with a hammer. Every time I am attacked with a hammer I feel especially cozy and warm at night.

Uber does have some safeguards in place. For instance, the company implements a seven-year background check, but the problem is it does not look into crimes committed before the set mark. There have been several instances of drivers having serious criminal records, yet being deemed by the company as “safe.”

Perhaps students should think twice before putting their lives in the hands of random strangers. One alternative is to mooch rides off friends—but be sure to pay them back, be it in pizza, beer or action figures.

For intoxicated Bobcats, here’s a bright idea: don’t drink that much, or again, hitch a ride with a friend. Also, walking is an even wilder alternative. Most people have legs, so use them to make sure they still work.

The world is a wild and dangerous place at times. Discretion and caution must be kept in mind at all times, especially when getting into a car with an unknown person.

I don’t care how many varieties of candy they have or how nice the water bottle display looks. If you do not know the person, be careful. Hell, even if you do know the person, be careful. People are insane.

One false sense of trust and it might be your face on the news, after you have been battered or lost on a forced ride all the way to Albuquerque. Missing students make for great news, and as they say in journalism—if it bleeds, it leads.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Don’t take candy from strangers. And don’t get in the car with strangers. Our parents told us those adages for a reason, now is the time to listen.


  1. I’m curious to know, have you ever even used Uber once? I have several times, and every time the driver has always been a very friendly, safe driver. Yes, it was an extremely unfortunate incident that happened that gave Uber horrible PR, and it’s a sign that maybe Uber should use more extensive background checks for their drivers. But all in all, it’s still a great business idea that has been shown to reduce the statistical number of drunk driving deaths significantly in many cities. It would be nice to just say to people “stop drinking” but this is the real world we live in. Over 3,000 people die everyday in this world from car accidents, but does that mean we should stop making and selling cars? There are horrific campus shootings that happen every year in this country, but does that mean we should close all of our schools down to prevent the campus shootings? Of course not.

  2. Uber and Lyft are new services. That’s why they receive so much publicity when something goes wrong. Taxi drivers commit violent and lewd acts daily but they never get reported because they’ve become commonplace. Ride-sharing is a great business model, allowing riders to easily and cheaply get a ride and drivers to make some extra cash on their own schedule. Ask anyone these days and most will tell you they prefer ride-sharing to cabs.

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