Delivery platforms such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Postmates have gained an increase in popularity since the COVID-19 outbreak. However, customers and couriers alike are starting to wonder if these services are actually safe.
Uber Eats customers are concerned about food safety and their private information being stolen. On the other hand, couriers are concerned about their wellbeing when delivering in dangerous areas. So, is Uber Eats safe?
Table of Contents
- Is Uber Eats Dangerous?
- Safety for Customers Explained
- Safety Concerns for Couriers
- Safety Tips for Couriers
- Is It Dangerous to Work for Uber Eats?
Is Uber Eats Dangerous?
Like any other courier or delivery gig, Uber Eats has its own fair share of risks and precautions to be aware of. In general, Uber Eats is safe to deliver for and safe to order from. However, different cities and locations will have differing results.
Safety for Customers Explained
In general, Uber Eats is a safe and secure delivery platform for customers. The Uber Eats platform uses built-in data encryption to protect its customers’ information. The system works by encrypting your information after you enter it, meaning you’re the last person to see it.
Food Safety Concerns
The 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic saw an increase in food safety concerns across the globe. Uber Eats wasn’t afraid to enforce CDC guidelines and apply their own rulings.
Participating merchants are expected to follow all safety and sanitation guidelines required by their state. These requirements include food safety procedures, hygiene regulations, and industry best practices.
Food Tampering Concerns
Besides following proper safety and sanitation protocols, participating restaurants are expected to prevent food tampering. Many restaurants, locations, and merchants have employed security seals and stickers to prevent food tampering. These tools are in place to prevent airborne illness and couriers from affecting your meal.
Couriers are Required to Wear Masks
Besides restaurants implementing sanitation, hygiene, and food tampering systems, all Uber Eats couriers are required to wear masks upon delivery. This ruling is in place to prevent the spread of airborne illness and disease. Delivery drivers that frequently break this rule typically have their account banned or suspended.
Safety Concerns for Couriers
Both customers and couriers alike have safety concerns. Customers are typically worried about their payment information and food being tampered with. Couriers have a different set of risks and precautions to be aware of.
One of the major downsides to Uber Eats compared to its competitors is that the app doesn’t show you the drop-off location until after you’ve picked up an order. This can result in drivers accepting orders to areas they would normally avoid.
Uber Eats claims that their delivery drivers are likely to earn more during rainstorms and harsh weather conditions. Although this is a nice bonus, slippery roads and hazardous routes can be dangerous for couriers.
Another concern for Uber Eats couriers are unsavory customers. Dropping off orders at a customer’s house can be risky, especially during the night or in areas with high crime rates. Dangerous customers aren’t common, but it’s something to be aware of.
Problems with Uber Eats orders? This is why they didn’t deliver your food.
Safety Tips for Couriers
Couriers, delivery drivers, and gig workers have their work cut out for them when it comes to safety. Luckily, we have a few tips you can use to stay safe while you deliver orders for Uber Eats.
Avoid Night Time Deliveries
One way to stay safe as an Uber Eats delivery driver is to avoid taking orders in the late evening and early morning. The FBI states most violent crimes and DUIs happen between 12 AM to 2 AM. If your schedule allows it, it may be best to avoid these times of the night.
Avoid Areas With High Crime Rates
Another way you can stay safe in your city is by avoiding areas with high crime rates. Avoid accepting orders in these areas or nearby locations. If you receive an order you’re unsure about; it’s better to cancel and find a new one.
Carry a Flashlight
If you’re delivering orders during the night, you should be utilizing a flashlight or headlamp. Not only are these tools practical for finding houses and streets, but they also keep you safe as well. Flashlights can help you avoid tripping in the dark as well as predators. You can find flashlights in all shapes and sizes, even ones that connect your keychain for convenience.
Mark Your Car
Another way you can stay safe while delivering for Uber Eats is by properly marking your car. Uber Eats offers official decals for qualifying drivers. However, you can use third-party decals or reflective tape to make your car stand out.
Stay In Your Car if Necessary
If you find yourself in a dangerous or precarious situation, don’t exit your vehicle. For example, if the drop-off location is in a sketchy location or the customer is acting strange, lock your doors and stay inside. As always, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Carry Personal Protection
Besides a flashlight, you should also consider carrying some type of personal protection. Firearms, pepper spray, tasers, and other tools can ward off animals and potential threats. These tools should be used as a last-ditch effort, but as always, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to check your local laws and regulations before purchasing and carrying any personal protective tool.
Let a Friend Know
Letting a friend or loved one know before you head out is another way you can stay safe as an Uber Eats courier. Let someone know you’re out delivering orders and where you’ll most likely be. You can also text them with updates throughout your shift or night, so they’re aware of your location and safety.
Is It Dangerous to Work for Uber Eats?
Uber Eats has its own fair share of risks and precautions. Generally speaking, both customers and couriers are safe. However, drivers can experience riskier situations, such as delivering during the night or in areas with high crime rates. If you’re concerned about your safety, be sure to stay in your vehicle and call your local law enforcement agency.