For food-delivery drivers, the dangers of Washington's alarming rise in carjackings are compounded by the number of hours they spend in their cars, traveling to neighborhoods they consider safe or to others they would avoid if given the choice. DoorDash and Uber Eats drivers have been accosted and robbed in cities across the nation. Lenny Sanchez, director of the Illinois chapter of the Independent Drivers Guild, whose union represents thousands of drivers in six states, said delivery driving is dangerous enough that he “does not recommend this job to anybody."
Uber touts steps that it has taken to improve safety, including an “emergency button” to reach 911 operators, GPS tracking and an app allowing drivers to share their location with family. The risks were enough in 2020 that the D.C. attorney general’s office issued a public reminder to drivers to turn off their engines and lock their cars while making deliveries. The office’s warning came after D.C. police reported that delivery drivers, from April until October of that year, accounted for more than a third of the 800 victims of auto thefts in which “the vehicle was either left running, unattended with the keys in the vehicle, or both."