High Risk Activities: Uber
Most of us here at the office are what you would call risk takers. After all, we wouldn't spend 70 hours a week writing on a website for a paycheck that just covers Ramen noodles if we were risk averse. It's the potential for more, a better future, that keeps us going.
Now some things are riskier than others. We like to do things like go through red lights at 3 am when no one is around, drive over the posted speed limits, and have sex without a condom (with our girlfriends, I mean were not male whores) because it makes us feel a little bad ass.
The most common theory to explain thrill seekers and risk-takers is the need for an adrenaline rush. Sports like skydiving, back-country skiing, paragliding, and even running with the bulls in Spain provide a rush like no other.
One study from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says there is more to it than that. It is actually a way for thrill seekers to control their emotions and deal with issues in their lives.
"The study included skydivers, who tend to score high on sensation-seeking, and mountaineers, who don’t. It also included a control group of low-risk athletes. All of the participants filled out psychological questionnaires that focused on sensation seeking, the ability to moderate emotions, and “agency,” which means having a sense of control over your life"
It goes on to state that:
Studies have found that mountaineers tend to fall short in the relationship department, have difficulty describing their feelings and have less of a need for intimacy than others. They also tend to feel a lack of control in their everyday lives.
The authors of the new study theorized that these risk takers may seek out situations of “chaos, stress, and danger” to get control of their emotions and master of their lives. A high-risk activity, they wrote, “physically challenges the limits of the self in a way that is not readily available in even the most challenging of normative everyday situations.”
This little study must have put a wrinkle in our brain, because we began to search for high risk activities online. Not to participate, call it morbid curiosity, but to find out what are some of the riskiest activities to undertake? This made one staff member think of a girl he knows who drives for Uber. Well, she has her share of stories, including a guy who left a kilo of coke behind in her cars backseat. Thus we bring you our first installment of:
High Risk Activities: Uber
There are plenty of odd UBER stories out there. Here are a few we found on The Daily Beast.
An Uber driver tragically struck and killed a 6 year old girl and Uber denied responsibility
In January 2014, Syed Muzaffer, who drove for Uber, killed a 6 year old girl in San Francisco. Uber claimed Muzaffer was not technically logged onto the Uber app at the time of the accident, meaning they weren't responsible for it. Nevertheless, the family of the little girl sued the company for wrongful death. "The companies did not cause this tragic accident," Uber's attorneys said in response. To make matters worse, it turned out Muzaffer already had a reckless driving conviction under his belt –– something Uber apparently did not uncover or deem disqualifying during their background check process.
An Uber driver choked his passenger in a racist attack and Uber's CEO was mad at the media about it
When writer and activist Bridget Todd Tweeted at Uber that she had been choked by her driver in Washington D.C. in what seemed like a racially motivated attack, Uber publicly responded by telling Nitasha Tiku of Valleywag that it "was provoked by the passenger."
Woman claims Uber driver kidnapped her, Uber claims "inefficient route."
When a woman tried to take UberX home from a party in October 2014, a driver instead took her on a wild, twenty-mile ride ending in an abandoned lot, Valleywag's Sam Biddle reported. All the while, "the driver ignored her questions and directions. They finally arrived in a dark, empty parking lot in the middle of the night, despite her repeated protests. When the tried to exit the car, her driver locked the doors, trapping her inside. Only when she caused a commotion and screamed did he finally return her home." The ordeal lasted for "over two hours." In response to hearing her story, Uber apologized for the "inefficient route" and partially refunded her fare.
Rape allegations against Uber driver
In December 2012, a 20 year old Washington, D.C. resident left a bar and took an Uber home. During the trip, she later told police, the driver made advances which she ignored. When she got out of the car, she alleged the driver grabbed her from behind, knocked her to the ground causing her to hit her head on concrete, and then raped her. Prosecutors decided not to pursue charges against the accused.
One driver had an encounter with police recently, who brought out a K-9 unit for a thorough search before him and his passenger were allowed to go free. Watch the video below:
Crave reported on some Uber stories as well. Here is the finest...err...most interesting.
Funny story actually … My friend is a Uber driver too and he was telling me how this girl peed in his car and how funny yet utterly disgusting it was. I am out driving the following week and this passenger was telling me how she peed in some guys car the previous week. I was in such fear and she made a comment how I began to drive faster. When we got to her destination and she got out I told her I knew the driver who’s car she peed in.
A couple weeks ago I was heading home from my shift. It was 3AM Saturday morning, and I was about halfway home when I get a ping to pick someone up at IHOP. I figured that one more ride wouldn’t hurt. I picked the guy up, let’s call him Steve.
So, Steve gets in my car, apologizes for the ‘long trip’ we are about to have, and hands me a twenty dollar bill. I work in the Rockford area, in Illinois, and when I started the trip, his destination was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, 88 miles away. I knew it was going to be a long ride, but I figured I’d be making some decent money.
Here starts the trip, which would be 3 hours, round-trip. Ten minutes into the ride, this guy is passed out in my backseat, so I figured I’d just play some tunes and enjoy the quiet ride. Five more minutes go by, and suddenly he’s sitting upright, looks at me, and proceeds to vomit all over my floor, the back of my seat, and on my door, as well as under the passenger seat. He hands me another twenty, and passes back out, while I’ve still got over an hour to get him home (3:20 AM at this point)
It’s 40 degrees outside, and I have to drive with all my Windows down, on the highway, the whole way there. I ended up dropping him off after he vomited two more times in the same spots on my floor. Then I had to make the hour and a half trip home, alone, and cold as fuck. I got back into town at 6AM, had to wait till 8:30AM for the cleaner to open, and wasn’t home till nearly 11AM.
I did Uber and Lyft for awhile. I’ll start by saying I’m in the minority as a female driver. I got hit on a lot because I was the last chance for drunk, male passengers to get laid. I really never encountered a terrible situation. I’ve overheard a lot of great conversations though. One time I was driving a group of Marines back to their base and they were telling me about this other Marine guy who had a fetish where he would stand on his head and jerk off into his own mouth.
Here are few few YouTube videos if you cant get enough of the Uber horror stories.
Apparently, driving for Uber isn't that great, even without the violence and creepy passengers. The Verge reported on a survey meant to measure driver satisfaction. Here are the results:
"...only 48 percent said they agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "Overall, I am satisfied with my experience driving for Uber." (Uber got 833 responses to its December survey.) Thirty-eight percent of drivers told Campbell they disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement. Many of his responses came from Uber's largest markets, like Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago"
"The lack of satisfaction among drivers is unsurprising, especially coming in the middle of a harsh winter for the ride-share company. Uber recently slashed its fares in over 100 cities. The reduction was meant to combat slower winter months, but it mostly just pissed off its workforce. Drivers, many of whom were lured to the app-based company on the promise of greater flexibility and higher take-home pay, say the fare cuts are forcing them to work longer hours for less money"
The original survey, with all the details, is available on The Rideshare Guy.
There is no support for the Uber drivers from corporate either, according to an article in GQ. Here is the direct quote:
Uber's Billionaire CEO Thinks Struggling Drivers Need to "Take Responsibility for Their Own Shit"
So one has to wonder, do you have to be crazy to drive for Uber, or are you just a thrill seeker dealing with some emotional baggage and the need to make up for a lackluster life?
Comment below and tell us: Do you drive for Uber? If so, whats your craziest story?