Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice, PhD

Committee Chair

Tewksbury, Richard

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Foster, Price

Committee Member

Foster, Price

Committee Member

Swartz, Kristin

Committee Member

Schroeder, Ryan

Author's Keywords

ride share; uber; lyft


Ride-sharing companies have sprung up in various countries around the world, starting in the United States, in the past five years (Uber, 2015). These entrepreneurial upstarts have invaded the transportation industry with contract drivers and no regulations. As independent contractors, these drivers are not afforded the rights and protections as employees. Therefore, they question whether the companies, Uber and Lyft, are concerned about their safety and security. The closest profession to ride share drivers are taxicab drivers, who are considered to have one of the most violent jobs in the United States (Richardson & Windau, 2003). Specifically, they have a higher rate of homicide than police officers (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2012). Therefore, it would make sense that ride share drivers are concerned about their safety. The present qualitative study utilizes interviews with 50 drivers throughout the United States to understand their fears about the lack of safety and security provided by the companies. Analysis of the interviews provide in depth knowledge into the world of ride share from the drivers’ point of view, including their suggestions for making the job safer. Lastly, a discussion that includes a summary of the findings, contributions and policy implications, and limitations will be followed with a conclusion.