"One time my Uber driver drove 80 miles away from the destination address I gave him because he 'wanted to show me the beautiful city.'"
There's a pretty distinct power dynamic that male drivers for ridesharing services like Uber have over their female passengers.
Think about it from the POV of the driver: there's a woman in the car, who is often alone, inebriated, and she needs something. She's relying on a stranger to get her home safely; the driver has all of the control. Even if a driver's plans aren't as horrific as sexual assault, it's likely that if they're a fuckhead, they'll at least force her to endure a flirting routine for the sole reason that she's got no other choice.
She can't protest like she could outside the car, because she needs to get home. The driver also has all of her info like a phone number and, possibly, where she lives.
It's low-hanging fruit for shitholes who see Uber-ing as a way to pick up girls.
Of course, most drivers know that just because there's a female unescorted by a male in their car, it doesn't mean they're potential fuck targets. An overwhelming majority of male drivers see it as their responsibility their passengers get home safely, and that they feel comfortable during the ride. That's great, and that's why we still continue to use services like Uber and Lyft more than we drive our own Chevy Astros around town.
But still, it happens, and with disturbing frequency. And for some reason, it's usually perpetrated by male Uber drivers. We don't have to recount all the episodes of Uber drivers hitting on their passengers (or worse); a simple Google search brings up hundreds of results describing instances of uncomfortable interactions during ride shares. In fact, there's even a whole website dedicated to chronicling this stuff.
This piqued our interest, so we collected some of our own stories from our readers about their weirdest Uber experiences;
Fuck your blonde friend
"One time my Uber driver was hitting on my friend Kelsey and it was extremely painful to listen to. He was a 'DJ' and had just landed a new gig and he was trying to make her come. She clearly did not want to (and it was an invitation only to her) but he kept pushing it so my drunk self finally chimes in and I start asking him questions about his DJing. I asked him about five times before he realized I was fucking with him. He found her on Facebook like a week later and messaged her saying, 'Fuck your blonde friend.' Right … because they would have totally hit it off if I wasn't there."
– Heather, 25
Do you even vape?
"I was drunk from day drinking going to meet up with my boyfriend. My Uber driver whips out his weed pen and asks if I smoke. I do, so obviously I grab for it and we have a quick smoking session on the way to my boyfriend's apartment. We pull up to the curb of my destination and he puts the car in park, turns to me and starts this rant about how pretty I look, how he wants to meet new people, and how he would love to hang out, maybe take me to dinner. I finally mutter that I have a boyfriend but still gave him my number. He texts me every now and then asking to hang out. Never smoke with your Uber driver."
– Natasha, 21
Eau du Fuck Off
"I was riding in the front seat of an Uber when my driver LEANED ACROSS THE CENTER CONSOLE AND SMELLED ME. He proceed to say, 'You smell gooooood what is that you are wearing Mariah Carey or smthinnn?' I replied with a solid 'no.' He then asked me if it was Justin Bieber's perfume."
– Mandy, 29
"I was on my way to the airport and my Uber driver floored it because I was late and when I got out of the car he asked for my number so I yelled it at him and ran inside to make my flight. Later that night he texted me asking if I made it then asked me when I'm coming back and that we should hang out. I responded 'G2G sorry baiiiiiiiiii.' Never heard from him again."
– Erica, 25
Do you like fast cars and threesomes?
"My friend and I were in an Uber on our way to a music festival. The driver, who was significantly older, kept checking us out in the rearview mirror, licking his lips and going 'You sure you guys are going to a music festival?' He then proceeded to ask us if we liked his car (it was a Mustang … so what) and if we liked to 'eat good food' (no, fucker, we eat human shit). Afterwards, he texted me for a solid week all like 'You got plans for later? How'd you like to be arm candy at a car show?' and 'I know there are two of you but I've handled that before ;)' At first it was sad and funny, but then got creepy the moment we realized he knew where we lived. For a few days, we buddy-system'ed it when we left the house just because he was so damn persistent. I blocked his number, but always took Lyft after that so I wouldn't have to chance running into him again."
– Carly, 27
"In college, I was on my way home in an Uber when the driver started talking about all the sexual problems he was having with his wife and how he really wished he could just find 'someone young and fun' to fuck so he could 'get his mojo back.' Meanwhile, I'm in the backseat like '……….' But since I'm not objecting, he thinks I'm being a good listener and compliments me as such. When we reach my house, he keeps talking and talking with the car running, so I can't really just dip out of the car. Then, he goes 'I like taking to you, Let's talk some more,' puts the car in gear and pulls away from my house. 'Oh,' I thought. 'I'm dying tonight. Great.' He ended up circling my block talking to me about dick mojo until I was finally like 'Let me the fuck out of the car.' He dropped me off, asked for my number, and I gave him the Little Cesar's number which I've memorized for occasions like this."
– Fiona, 22
Check out the skyline baby
"Well, my Uber driver drove 80 miles away from the destination address I gave him one time because he 'wanted to show me the beautiful city.'"
– Summer, 23
Hot for teacher (?)
"I had an older, professor-type Uber driver who made a living taking drunk idiots like me around the city in his tiny Prius. I found this really interesting since he was an actual professor, and asked him why he was spending his free time doing this when he could be, you know, Nobel prizing or something. He gave me a flat look, then said 'To meet women.' Ah, there it is. He then proceeded to tell me about the time a beautiful, wasted passenger got in the front seat with him, took her top off and was like 'I LOVE THE WIND IN MY HAIR, IT'S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL NIGHT' or something insane like that. He ended up 'Caressing her naked form' and 'admiring it' before dropping her off, confessing that if I didn't 'look like I had a boyfriend,' he'd want to do the same to me. It was an awkward ride."
– Patrice, 26
GAAHHH, all this is sad! Sad male weirdness!
Moral of the story? Uber (and Lyft, and cab drivers and whatever you use) need to chill the fuck out on that hitting-on-girls-just-because-they're-in-my-Prius C game. It's a weird, unfair, uncomfortable place to meet chicks predicated by a power dynamic, and zero chicks want to meet you when you when they're in a situation where the only thing they see is the back of your head and the only thing they hear is your embarrassing selection of Bruno Mars remixes coming through your stock speakers.