- Most Uber and Lyft rides are uneventful.
- But with enough miles and hours behind the wheel, drivers are bound to witness some memorable things.
- From heartwarming encounters to strange riders, Business Insider spoke to drivers about the craziest things they have seen.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
If there’s one question Uber and Lyft drivers are tired of being asked, it’s for their craziest stories.
I did it anyway.
In the past few months, Business Insider has spoken to more than 40 drivers for various ride-hailing companies, including the giants like Uber and Lyft, as well as smaller players like Via.
On the whole, most of the dozens of rides drivers give during any given week are completely uneventful. But occasionally, as you can imagine, drivers get to witness some strange, funny, heartwarming, and sometimes scary things.
Here’s what they told us (last names have been removed to protect privacy):
An inadvertent accomplice, possibly?
“I think I may have assisted a drug deal,” Jenny, a driver in New Jersey, told Business Insider. “I picked up two gentlemen at a bank in Newark who said they needed to make a quick stop at his sister’s house. Then one said to the other to leave the money on the table, and eventually he came out of the house with a book bag full of stuff.”
Plenty of funny overheard conversations
“One guys was on the phone with his parole officer trying to convince him he didn’t know why his urine came-back dirty,” Andy, a driver in Atlanta, said. “That was pretty hard not to laugh at.”
Drivers are pros at packing luggage.
“I drive to beach communities a lot, so a lot of the crazy is relative” Patrick, a driver in Los Angeles said. “I’m pretty good a fitting surf boards and the likes into my small car. It’s pretty usual around here.”
Drivers are also there to help out fellow motorists.
“During the polar vortex this year in Illinois, I hauled diesel fuel for a semi driver who had run out of gas and helped three other folks who also ended up stranded,” Timothy, a driver near Chicago, said. “I’m pleased to say most of these folks tipped, but it’s just part of being a kind person.
They have helped plenty of others in times of need, too.
“One time I got a call and the person quickly called me right after I accepted it and said her father was having a heart attack and that she needed to get home to her sister so they could both rush to the hospital,” Chris, a driver in Connecticut, said. “That was crazy, but not that much fun.”
And they have helped with any number of other requests.
“Once I picked up a guy and his golf clubs, and once he got in he slid me a sheet of paper and asked me to fax it for him,” Gary, a driver in Hawaii, said. “I informed him that I didn’t own a fax machine and he replied that it didn’t have to be done right away. He was sure that I could find a fax somewhere around town, and he would give me a dollar for my troubles.
“I’m easy going and wanted to help him, so I told him to get an email address for the person he wanted it to go to and I would scan it and email it to them. While he was still in the car he called the person for an email address and wrote it on the piece of paper and handed it back to me. When I finished driving for the day, I finally looked at the paper and it was a tax document from the IRS saying the man owed $US17,000 in back taxes and penalties. I did scan and send it for him but have no idea why he would trust a stranger with this.”
“I had one passenger who claimed to be a vampire, but worked as an overnight bakery employee at a grocery store as his cover,” Alex, a driver in Kentucky, said. “Imagine a 50-year-old Eddie Munster, wearing a leather jacket and sunglasses at 1 am.”
Lots of time on the road means lots of other drivers to observe
“Another time I was stopped at a light in downtown LA, with my turn signal on waiting for it to turn green when a guy riding a bike started doing circles in the intersection,” Patrick continued. “After a few minutes – and the light turning green – he eventually ran into my car, and looked surprised that I was even there.”
Couples are full of drama.
“I hear couples get into fights on a weekly basis,” Barb, a driver in Colorado, said. “A few times its been so bad, nearing what I thought my result in physical assault, that I considered pulling over. Most of the time it seems to stem from a jealous boyfriend or girlfriend that thought the other was flirting too much or embarrassing them somehow.”
But they also provide some much-needed relief.
“I was invited to a New Year’s Eve party because a couple wanted me to have a toast at midnight instead being of out driving,” Barb continued. “There are lots of very nice people in the world, and the media doesn’t talk enough about them.”
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