With the holiday season upon us, you may be making plans to spend some time at the Las Vegas Strip celebrating with friends. It is always a good idea to get a sober ride home, instead of driving after having too much to drink. One of your choices might be to hail a ride from one of the popular ride-sharing services, such as Uber or Lyft. However, are these services as safe as you might assume?

Unlike public transportation or traditional taxi companies, ride-sharing services do not employ their drivers as regular employees. Instead, these services allow drivers to act as independent contractors, working their own hours by responding to hails from people using the smartphone app. In the past couple of years, numerous complaints have arisen regarding the behavior of some of the drivers contracting with the companies. According to CBS News, there have been several instances where customers claimed they had been sexually harassed, assaulted or raped by Uber drivers. You might also have heard of a tragic accident, in which a young girl was struck and killed by an Uber driver. In this incident, there was an insurance gap that did not cover the death of the child.

Many of those who are critical of such services say that the companies have not done enough to protect consumers from violent or irresponsible drivers. The companies perform background checks on potential drivers; however, some have claimed that accusations of sexual assault were handled inadequately by Uber. You get into a vehicle with a stranger every time you use a public bus, taxi or ride-sharing service. It is vital that the companies which use these drivers ensure to the best of their ability that their customers are safe.