Do you know who is driving when you travel overseas?

Do you know who is driving when you travel overseas?

Ride sharing has revolutionized ground transportation.  There is no question that the on-demand, gig economy has fundamentally changed the way that we, as travelers, move from point to point on any given day.  The convenience of Uber and Lyft have raised expectations for ground transportation and made getting to meetings, enjoying a night on town and getting to the airport for that Monday morning, 7am business trip so much easier.

With all the convenience that these services bring, they also beg the question: Who is driving me today?  Is this the type of person I trust to get me to and from my meetings and airport?  What types of background checks has this person passed?  Are they a good driver?  Is their vehicle safe and regularly maintained?  Does this person know the area and the best routes to get me where I am going, or will they just blindly follow the route given to them by whatever app they are required to use for that particular fare? 

We have covered ridesharing risk specifically in Mexico in our article 5 Reasons Ridesharing in Mexico is Dangerous and many of the issues in that article relate to issues with driver integrity around the World.  

All of these questions have additional weight when the trip is being taken internationally.  You are in a potentially unfamiliar location, you don’t know the way around and you may or may not speak the language.  Does your driver speak English?  Is the location you are traveling to susceptible to increased security risks?  Does the driver follow traffic laws?  Do they know the best routes to your destination that avoid sketchy parts of town or areas with increased probability of protests or crime?  Last but certainly not least, what is your risk exposure INSIDE the vehicle. 

Just last month, another tragic story hit the headlines about a young British government official that was killed by her Uber driver in Lebanon.  In a senseless and horrific act, this driver attempted to rape, then strangled this young woman and left her on the side of the road.  Unfortunately, this is not a unique story, the numbers of assaults committed globally by ridesharing employees on their customers is staggering and growing as the platforms expand internationally.

The problem with the on-demand model is that the providers need more drivers than their competition so that they can maintain pricing leverage and attract riders with their low fees.  For this reason, they often rely on limited scope background checks.  Background checks are only as good as the underlying criminal database of the country or jurisdiction where that driver is located.  In the US or other developed countries, these background checks are fairly accurate and will flag whatever arrests driver has had in the past.  The actual standards, compliance to background checks and diligence in which they are performed are then the responsibility of the ridesharing company to perform.  That is a different topic for another day, as these companies often times fail to accurately perform  these checks even when the national crime database is comprehensive and up to date. 

Let’s take Mexico as an example.  Assume Uber or the local competitor Cabify queried the crime database for a new driver coming on board in Mexico City.  What is the accuracy of this data and does it actually inform the company as to the background of this particular employee?  According to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), an autonomous, Mexican public body, responsible for the regulation and coordination of the national statistics, the unsolved crime rate in Mexico for 2015 was 97%!  So ask yourself, how comfortable are you that your driver in Mexico passed a criminal background check when 97 out of 100 crimes go unsolved in the country?  Unfortunately for one woman last year in Mexico City, Uber’s background policy failed to protect her from being raped by her Uber driver.  Numerous investigations and even a company leak reveal that this incident may not be isolated.   

So what are you to do when your boss tells you to go close that account in Mexico?  What if you could easily book secure ground transportation, using the same trained, vetted and professional security drivers that Fortune 500 CEO’s use; for prices that are similar to a black car service?  What if these drivers were bonded and insured, have been in the business of secure transportation for years and were professional drivers that knew how to decrease the probability of both potential criminal threats but also threats based on vehicular accidents?  What if the drivers were actual employee’s vs contractors and were vetted by personal knowledge by their manager of who they were, the family they come from and by verification through the companies own personal network? 

This peace of mind is exactly what Anjin Secure Car provides the international business traveler.   Visit us at www.anjinsecure.com today and prepare for that important meeting instead of worrying about how to get there.  Anjin Secure Car has Mexico covered!

If you woudl like to read up on more issues with ridesharing, please read 5 Reasons Ridesharing in Mexico is Dangerous.

 

About the Author:

Justin Clark is the Chief Development Officer for Anjin Secure Car. He has held roles as both a security and medical industry executive.  Prior to his business career, he was an officer in Special Operations and served five combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.