You really can’t be too careful these days — not even when it comes to your cab service. If fact, one Latina had the scariest experience with a Lyft driver that could have easily turned into a horror story had she not been so cautious. Miami fashion blogger and influencer, Annie Vazquez (Founder of The Fashion Poet and Annie The Alchemist) was about to hop into a Lyft car, when she realized something wasn’t right with her driver. Had she not picked it up — who knows what could have happened.
Apparently Vazquez’s Lyft driver had pulled up to her house and even called out her name. But because she instantly recognized that the car model was different from the one on her app, she quickly checked the license plate and noticed that the car and the driver did not match the driver on her app. Vazquez claims that the driver drove off the second he realized she was double checking her app. How scary is that?
She quickly reported it to Lyft and shared the entire story on Instagram to warn other women to be aware before getting into any cab service vehicle.
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We all deserve to feel safe in this world. Yesterday, I almost stepped into a car with someone who claimed to be my @lyft driver. He said my name as I approached. The car looked different then in the app, he also looked like a different person as I reached my hand out to open the car something stopped me. I then had the idea to cross check his license plate and as I did, I started noticing it wasn't matching and then the driver sped off. Then my ride got canceled. This could've cost me my life. This is happening everywhere. @lyft & @uber drivers are hiring uncertified drivers some of them with DUIs, convicts or family members to work with their apps. I urge you all to please do a thorough check before getting in another car. I have filed a claim with Lyft and I'm waiting to see what happens next. Please share this information with friends & family. We all need to take care of each other.
“Lyft’s app allows you to get help right away. I pressed a button to be called by them and in seconds got a call,” she exclusively told Hiplatina. “Some from critical response helped me and took down information of what happened. I was told I would be unpaired with that driver while they investigated. Unfortunately, that means that person still has access to using the Lyft app and hiring other people to complete his drives that aren’t certified by the company. It made my stomach turn to know that another innocent woman or man could take that same car and God knows what would happen to them.”
Apparently some Lyft drivers share their apps and hire others on the side to complete their rides. This is most likely how Vazquez’s driver knew her name and was able to show up to her place. It’s something that happens far too often.
“I have been flooded with DMs from others who have similar experiences and worst. Lyft and Uber have done nothing they told me. One woman [shared that] a driver sexually assaulted her and others have even gone to tell me they now have fear of letting their teens ride alone. I also just got sent Song of Style’s Uber Kidnapping account.”
In fact, there have been quite a few sexual assault and abuse cases associated with Uber and other car services. Earlier this week a story broke about a San Diego woman who was sexually assaulted by an Uber driver on her ride home. According to CNN, the woman had been intoxicated and passed out in the backseat. The moment she regained consciousness she woke up to her Uber driver on top of her and raping her just a block away from her home.
Fortunately, she was able to get away and call 911 but this is just one of many similar incidents. Earlier in April a 24-year-old woman from San Francisco was beaten and sexually assaulted by her driver along with a second man who was hiding in the backseat of the car. They had driven her all the way from San Francisco to Sonoma nearly 50 miles away, where a Safeway supermarket worker found the woman around 5 a.m. in the morning.
A recent CNN investigation has found that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers. This is only in the past four years. Clearly, this is a serious problem that more women need to be made aware of.
Vazquez shared with us a few tips on how to avoid this happening to you. “Have your phone fully charged,” she said. “Download the app Personal Safety, which allows a GPS to track you and call 911. Share your ride with a friend or family member so they can follow along.” And she can’t stress enough the importance of double checking the license plate, the car’s model, and the driver’s face before entering a car.
Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshai told CNN that sexual assault is a “new priority for us.”
“It is a priority that I expect to remain a priority for the foreseeable future,” she said.
“A lot of people say a driver gets deactivated. It’s a criminal act. Why aren’t these people [getting] arrested? I could’ve been kidnapped, raped — or worst — killed. Nobody would’ve been able to track me had I not double checked the plate,” Vasquez says. “I have had a lot of anxiety and have cried so much. I am lucky. I am really lucky … because I opened the door and then something told me to check the tag [license plate] before I got in. I’ve [rode] in Uber and Lyfts prior feeling safe but that has changed. I want to feel safe trusting a driving service not holding my breath in the car to see if I’m going to make it home alive.”