The latest step? The cellphone app that summons its ride-share service now reminds both drivers and passengers to buckle up for safety. Uber drivers will receive a notice asking them to ensure that passengers are buckled up, while riders see a reminder that "seat belts save lives"
Uber said it worked with the non-profit Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) to add the reminder pages to its app. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi admitted last week that he was among the 43 percent of taxi and ride-share passengers who didn't routinely buckle up.
The executive said that Uber drivers dinged his passenger rating because he didn't always fasten his seat belt.
“I wasn't wearing seat belts in the back, and I didn’t even know that I was making the driver feel unsafe," he told The Washington Post.
Uber says that its research indicates drivers don't necessarily feel comfortable reminding passengers to buckle up.
Jonathan Adkins, the GHSA’s executive director told The Washington Post that while back-seat passengers often feel safer than when they're in the front seat, they're actually putting both the driver and front-seat passenger at risk.
Studies show that seat-belt compliance in the U.S. is typically high for front-seat occupants and drivers but low for back-seat passengers. A 2017 survey by the IIHS found that four out of five adults don’t buckle up when riding in a taxi or using a ride-hailing service.