This video and post are about a sad news story that happened a little while back. I saw this story that just came out on the news and it’s about a pregnant Lyft driver in Arizona that was actually murdered by her passenger. I decided to do a live stream with other drivers to help process this tragedy.
I think I read this story and it really is super-sad. And for some reason, I think I wanted to go live and just chat about it. I saw a video from Rideshare Driver Dustin and he had some good thoughts, so I wanted to kind of quickly go live, let you guys know about this story, because definitely, I think we all have been out there and it can be a definitely dangerous job at times. And so, sort of talk about some of the things that you can do to potentially protect yourself.
Take a look at my video on this incident, and check out the video transcript below to see the points I cover.
It’s a sad story and sad things happen all the time every day, but when I saw this story, it really was really sad for me.
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This took place in in Arizona. I believe it was Tempe. It was a early Sunday morning, driver went to pick up a passenger, just like any other ride.
It can be a dangerous job. You’re transporting people late at night. I don’t know how much it would have helped in this situation, but a dash cam for sure. It’s not going to prevent everything, but I think when people do know that they’re on camera and when you have a dash cam, it tends to just make things a little bit safer for drivers for sure.
So, I’m curious to know what you guys think about this story. I’m going to do a relatively short live session today. Maybe only 10 or 15 minutes about this story, so if you guys do have questions, definitely let me know and let’s see if I can pull up the chat right now and see what everyone has to say.
Keith says, “Even bad things can happen in the daytime.” Torrel says, “This is why I prefer food delivery over rideshare”. Leslie says, “Dash cam I’m doing ASAP”. And yeah, like I say, dash cam, someone could obviously still do something, but I think that, if you have a dash cam it can potentially prevent passengers from acting up in the first place and hopefully you’ll never have to encounter this type of situation.
I’m not sure where she picked him up. I believe it said in the story that she picked him up from his home. And Keith says, “I’ve got the Vantrue N2 Pro”. This is the camera that I now use and recommend. I think the Vantrue N2 Pro is definitely one of the top cameras out there. Really clear quality. I’ve actually been able to pull license plates off the front. It’s got cool features, so definitely recommend that. You will have to kind of follow your local laws and regulations, but definitely recommend Vantrue N2 Pro or any dash cam really, if the option is between having one or not having one.
So, let’s see. What did you guys say? The time of the incident. So, there hasn’t been a lot of information released yet about this incident, I think, because it’s so sensitive. I mean, the driver was a Lyft driver and she was also pregnant, so I mean, that’s what I think really … and I’ve got a one year old son at home and I think that’s what really hit home for me. I guess, this drive actually also had two children at home.
You can’t predict where passengers are going or who you’re going to get. Johnathan says, “Cams are a very strong deterrent for most people. We need to support dash cam manufacturers that upload video to an external source. That would be a great deterrent”.
Philip says, “It happened in the morning”. And I believe they said, early Sunday morning, which is usually … Usually when they say stuff like that in the news, they mean 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 AM. And unfortunately the baby did not survive. So, this passenger actually murdered two people, right? The nice thing is that since this ride did happen on the Lyft app and the passenger stole the Lyft driver’s car after he stabbed her, they were able to track him down and catch him really quickly. So, I guess, at least he was caught.
I know it’s really definitely pretty crazy. Jason says, “Is there a dash cam that streams to a server?” Yeah. You can steal the cam as well. We just reviewed the Owl dash cam and did a little giveaway there, so that could be very cool. Keith says, “Rideshare Driver Dustin has started something to donate to the family. We should all help, even if it’s a dollar from all of us”. I think that’s a great idea.
As soon as I get off of this, Keith, I’ll text Dustin and see if he’s got a link or maybe if he sees me going live, he can hop on here and share a link in the comments and I’ll make sure to pin that comment, because if, yeah, there’s some type of GoFundMe for this family or something like that, I would gladly support that and I would hope that my viewers could, even if it’s a dollar or two, or five dollars, I think that that could really be big.
So, Leslie, I don’t know what the donation link is right now, but I’ll make sure I get with Dustin and come back to this video and I’ll make sure I pin the comment or leave it in the description so you guys can take a look at that. I mean, I guess, as far as why it matters for drivers, safety is a big issue for drivers and Bea says, “That’s why I carry” and yeah, definitely.
The crazy thing is that carrying weapons, like guns, is actually against Uber and Lyft’s terms of service, but what I always tell drivers is, you sort of have to decide. I mean, getting deactivated from Uber or Lyft is one thing, but getting deactivated from life is another. You’re going to have to decide what’s more important to you, Uber and Lyft’s terms of service or your safety? And I would always say that your personal safety comes first. So, do whatever you need to do within the law. Uber and Lyft’s terms of service are not the law. I follow the law and not Uber and Lyft’s terms of service.
Rideshare Genius says, “Lyft should be making a huge donation. Wonder if that would ever happen”. Mr. Five Star says, “Tips on, what would you do to avoid potentially bad riders? How can one not profile riders? I personally don’t pick up intoxicated passengers”. I’ve had some of my best passengers in, honestly, areas of LA that have maybe seemed a little more shady or not been as nice and I don’t think it’s necessarily certain people that you want to profile, but I mean, if you aren’t as comfortable driving at night, you do have the option of driving in the day. A lot of these incidents do happen at night, so if safety is a big concern for you the day might be better.
Saturn60 says, “Every rideshare driver should carry mace” and I think that nonlethal weapons are a good idea in your car. We actually interviewed a safety expert on my podcast. I believe his name was [Bo 00:08:44] something. I’ll leave a link in the show notes, but he recommended not carrying pepper spray or mace, because it’s not a good tool to use in a confined space like a car, which I think makes a lot of sense. So, I think a taser is a better option.
Stephanie says, “Someone should make a security app for drivers and that someone is watching our dash cams or something like that”. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a good idea. For example, I have SimpliSafe security system and I’ve got an interior camera in my house that they can access if the alarm goes off and they can sort of see what’s going down in the house. So, I think anything like a panic button or something like that could definitely be useful.
GTCstorm says, “All passengers need to have an account so we know who’s getting into the car. Maybe violent felons should be banned, but Uber and Lyft won’t want to do those background checks”. That brings up an interesting question. Obviously, drivers have to undergo background checks, but what do you think about passengers undergoing background checks?
Now, I don’t know if this is something Uber and Lyft would ever seriously consider, but just because it’s such a huge barrier. I mean, I bet a lot of people may not sign up for the services, but at the same time, I think it would definitely make things safer, right? Of course, if everyone has to do a background check, that would definitely make things safer. So, I’m curious to know what you guys think about that.
Jason says, “So, this guy killed her and the baby to steal her car. I wonder if he had a history of bad ratings or other trips. Was this his first ride? Any signs to look for to warn you of this?” We’ll get more information and maybe I’ll do a follow-up video on this, but it seemed like this was just like any other ride. I mean, it was late night and it was a normal looking young dude and she picked him up like any other ride and obviously, things went horribly wrong.
Rideshare Hub says he’s looking for the donation link from Dustin and can’t find it. He might start a GoFundMe. Yeah. Just let me know. Of course, sometimes people try to take advantage of these GoFundMes. We just want to make sure it’s the legit link and we can verify that pretty easily. But yeah, let me know. Cedric says, “Yes, background check on them”. Seth says, “Hell yes to passenger background checks. We have no idea who is sitting behind us”.
So, I’ve got a few more minutes that I can chat right here, but Dave the Uber Slave, another good YouTuber here in LA says, “Does anybody believe Dara is making safety a priority?” Now, Dara, the Uber CEO has talked a lot about safety and to the Uber’s credit, I’ve seen them add some small things, you guys may have noticed, in the new driver app. You can now share your location with a friend or family member while you’re driving. And this is a feature I highly recommend. If you’re on iPhone, they’ve got the find friends app, which I use with my wife. And when I’m driving for Uber, I turn on the share location just as a backup.
I definitely recommend that if you’ve got a spouse or a loved one who kind of wants to make sure you feel safe. Passengers don’t know that that’s on, so again, it doesn’t do anything to prevent bad passenger behavior. Carrying weapons is one thing, but I don’t know that there’s a better solution to prevent bad passenger behavior that you can do today than a dash cam.
Mary says, “At the very least we should have access to a profile photo of our passenger at the time of the request”. And yeah, Mary, I agree with you. I think that this story kind of brings up a lot of these bigger issues that would just make us, as drivers, feel safe, right? When you go and pick someone up and it’s not the person, it’s like, “Oh, my friend called the ride”. Or you’re expecting a guy and a girl shows up or vice versa. That always just kind of makes me feel a little weird.
So, I think that there’s definitely some things Uber can add some features they can actually build into the app, like, “Hey, if you’re going to call a ride for a friend, maybe that passenger’s profile needs to be linked”.
Moises says, “Very sad news. May she rest in peace”. Dave says, “We should see our passenger’s picture”. Craig says, “Post a NRA sticker next to ‘This car has a recording device’ so passengers know that you’re carrying”. And I mean, frankly, I’ve talked to a lot of rideshare drivers. I, personally, don’t own a gun, but I’ll be honest, I’ve talked to a lot of rideshare drivers who do own guns and who do carry them while they’re driving. Like I said, it’s against Uber and Lyft’s terms of service, but what I would say is, your personal safety comes first and I think one of the better solutions is a dash cam and maybe something non lethal like a taser.
In fact, I feel somewhat fortunate though, because I’m 6′ 3″. I’m 200 pounds. I’m a male. There’s not too many people that would kind of mess with me, although I’ve definitely been messed with, but yeah. So, Rideshare Genius says, “They won’t make profile photos mandatory, because people will claim profiling discrimination”. So, I think they could always do it one minute out, as you’re approaching the passenger, or the pickup point, to avoid the discrimination-type issues.
When you look at the statistics of what it’s like to be a taxi driver, it is a dangerous gig. And so, it is important to take safety precautions. The whole point of this video was to kind of, basically, educate drivers about some of the options and just understand, hey, the realistic nature of this job. I mean, I don’t want to scare you guys, because there are millions of trips that happen on the Uber and Lyft apps every day and things go off without a hitch, so the odds of something happening are very, very low, but we do see these stories from time to time and shit does happen. Bad stuff does happen.
I want you guys to be safe out there. I want you guys to be protected. So, hopefully this video was helpful for you guys and just again, it was kind of a sad story, a very sad story, so I wanted to bring it to your attention. And if you guys do have any comments, don’t hesitate to reach out below. I’ll look for that GoFundMe link and share it and I’ll get with Dustin.
Hopefully you guys stay safe out there and if you guys did enjoy this YouTube Live, I’m going to try and do these more often.
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