Uber for Teens Launches in Phoenix With Safety Protocols in Place
May 31, 2023
Uber recently announced a new account feature that lets teenagers take rides without their parent or guardian present, and the program launched in several cities including Phoenix, Arizona. The Uber for teens option means aged minors aged 13 to 17 can have their own account and take Uber rides without an adult present — and there are some safety features in place parents should be aware of if they plan on letting their child use the service.
Uber Rides for Teenagers
Uber teen accounts went live in several cities – including the Phoenix area – starting on May 22nd. According to the Uber website, teen accounts on Uber “are the only authorized way for teens aged 13-17 to use the Uber platform with consent from their legal guardian.”
Parents or guardians can now add a teen account to their Family profile that will allow teenagers to request Uber rides. Previously, some teenagers may have used their parents’ Uber accounts or an older friend’s account to take rides, but they were not authorized.
Andrew Hasbun, an Uber spokesman, told The Arizona Republic, “We know that transportation is an issue for families all over the world. Getting your kids from Point A to Point B while working or doing whatever can be a challenge … We aren’t looking to replace the parent driving their kids somewhere. This is for when there’s a need. And so we think this is a conversation that a parent of a teen should have when they want to use it.”
Uber for Teens Safety Features
The launch of teen accounts on the Uber platform comes with a number of safety protocols to protect young passengers. For example, Hasbun told The Arizona Republic that only drivers with high ratings and hundreds of rides in their Uber history, with a record for positive feedback from passengers, are allowed to choose to pick up teenage passengers.
Plus, teens can only take authorized rides alone through their parent or guardian’s account, and parents will be notified whenever their teen requests a ride and be able to follow their location in real-time.
Additionally, parents or guardians will also have the Uber driver’s information and can call the driver during a ride their teenager is taking. The Uber website also notes that before a teen can request their first solo ride, they have to complete an onboarding process to teach them about the safety features available to them.
Further safety features include teens getting a four-digit code to verify they are connecting with the right driver and the ability for teenagers to record audio of the ride for each trip – if they consent to give the app permission to access their phone’s microphone. That audio will be encrypted and stored on the minor’s device, and if they need to file an incident report, the audio can be attached if needed.
Finally, teen users can only request rides for destinations in their area. That means teenagers in the Phoenix area can only request rides within the Valley, and not take trips off-course and far from home.
“We built this feature on the foundation of all of the safety features that we have pioneered over the past five years,” Hasbun told The Arizona Republic. He added that the ride-sharing company is not planning to allow children younger than 13 to ride alone.
Previous Uber for Teens Pilot Program
In 2017, Uber had a pilot program that allowed parents to book rides for their teenagers. It was available in Phoenix, Seattle, and Columbus.
However, during the pilot, drivers weren’t notified that they were accepting a teenager’s request for a ride. With this new teen account program, eligible drivers can choose whether or not want to receive ride requests from teenage users.
Ridesharing Accident Lawyers at Phillips Law Group
At Phillips Law Group, we know that despite trying to account for every possibility when it comes to safety, ridesharing services do not come without risks.
If you or someone you love, including your teenager, is hurt in an accident involving an Uber or other ridesharing service, call the team at Phillips Law Group for help. Our attorneys have handled many rideshare accident cases and have the expertise to secure fair compensation for our clients.
While we applaud the safety protocols in place for the new Uber for teens accounts, accidents happen. If you or your teen are involved in an Uber crash, please give us a call to see how we can help you in a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact us today to learn more.
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