Uber safe?


art by Audrey Allison

Vivian Kutheis, web staffer


After the country concert they stumbled to the parking lot, they had been drinking and knew they would be unable to drive home. Instead they pulled up the app Uber to ensure a safe trip home, later events of that night proved this was the right decision.


“I fell out of the Uber, I was really [out of my mind] so I jumped out of the car,” Jack* said.


This is an example of a student choosing a safe way home; they knew their limits, and they knew what could happen if they drove home. At KHS, 27 percent (62/230) of students have used an Uber, and 27 percent (32/119) used it because they were drinking. MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, provides warnings for students and parents such as “Drinking fogs thinking and erodes judgement”. Drinking large amounts of alcohol as an adolescent is dangerous according to MADD, but then add in teens natural desire to impress friends and take risks,along with driving and it is a catastrophic equation. According to DMR, Uber has taken the world by storm with 160,000 drivers worldwide, and it allows people a safer alternative to get home. High schoolers use Uber because no one wants to be the designated driver. Designated drivers prevent the over 4,000 deaths each year due to underage consumption of alcohol (CDC).


“No one wants to be that person who is held responsible for driving,” Jack said.


High schoolers face responsibility with school, work and college without the added task of driving intoxicated friends home. Being responsible for other people can make teens anxious because it can seem like too much responsibility. Nathan Verrill, an Uber driver and KHS dad, shares his experiences with underage drinkers and people who are drinking, in general.


“I can’t tell you how many times people have said, ‘I will risk it,’” Verrill said.


Verrill feels people risk their safety when trusting themselves to drive after drinking. He understands that people are not able to make good decisions after a certain amount of drinks.


“Over the summer I had college kids [who] would go from party to party to party,” Verrill said.


Though most of his riders appeared underage, Verrill was happy to have received a call rather than see their names on the news after an accident.


“I think [Uber is] pretty reliable, I think it’s a nice source to get home safely,” Jack said.


Uber’s reliable service starts with setting up an account. After making an account riders only need to text or call drivers to get a ride. One safeguard of Uber allows a system of rating for both the driver and passenger, this allows the driver and rider to choose their passenger. With access to locations and ways of contacting riders in danger, this app looks to guarantee a rider’s safety. At KHS,79 percent (177/225) believe Uber is safe for students because of the many safety measures. Universal safety is Uber’s goal by tracking the driver and rider to make sure they get to their destination.


*Name has been changed for anonymity.