Updated: May 25
Ride-share services like Uber, Lyft, Gett, Curb and Ztrip, have been getting plenty of limelight these days. Across the globe, most people have heard of them, many have used them and taxi drivers wonder whether to beat them or join them.
What most people haven’t heard about is just how DIRTY these vehicles really are.
The fact is that in most cases, the vehicles used by ride-sharing drivers are their own, and are pressed into service for much more than providing transport for paying customers. For instance, the same cars or SUVs can carry kids to school and to and from Little League games.
They can transport groceries, or tools, even furniture; and they can be used to carry friends and relatives around ̶ including Grandma, when she wants to go shopping or visit the hair salon.
The Bacteria Syndrome
These are just some of the (many) reasons that ride-share vehicles tend to exhibit high levels of bacteria. And the problems don’t end there.
According to a recent survey by Consumer Reports, one out of six Uber and Lyft drivers were driving cars, trucks or crossovers that had outstanding recalls!
A more alarming report, Driving with Germs, found that the average ride-share vehicle is 35,000 times dirtier than a toilet seat! The researchers discovered that when the swabs taken in ride-sharing vehicles were analysed, they contained an average of 6 million "colony-forming units" (CFUs) of bacteria per square inch.
To get a sense of what that means in practical terms, consider the fact that there are 32,000 CFUs on a coffeemaker, but a staggering 2 million CFUs on the average toothbrush holder. Predictably enough, the Netquote study found that window switches in ride-sharing vehicles yielded an average of 5 million CFUs. Seat belts, on the other hand, had an average 1,810 CFUs.
As the study pointed out:
"Of the vehicles we tested, rideshares yielded the highest bacteria levels by far – more
than 6 million CFU/sq. in. on average. The rental cars averaged more than 2 million
CFU/sq. in., while the taxis had an average of just over 27,000 CFU/sq. in. To put it in perspective, rideshares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush
holder. Toilet seats and coffee reservoirs both contained fewer microorganism than
rideshares and rental cars."
But this is all relative. The bottom line is that ride-share vehicles are bacteria ‘factories.’
Are Insects Sharing Your Uber?
If all of the foregoing wasn’t bad enough, ride-sharing vehicles have another problem. And this is one you rarely, if ever, hear about: insect infestation.
One of the reasons this rarely makes the news is not that the ride-share companies ̶ and their drivers ̶ are misleading the public or are dishonest about the ‘bug thing’. They are simply unaware of the threat, at least for the most part.
That’s not to say that drivers and companies aren’t responsible for the problem, but dealing with insect invasions is a multi-pronged problem.
But first things first: insects such as fleas, bed bugs, ticks, even mites, are the ultimate ‘hitch hikers.’ In fact, every one of these species (plus a few more) now pose a problem for public transportation, including buses, taxis, trains, trolleys, subways, and, of course, ride-share vehicles.
(Read more about how to get rid of bed bugs.)
But here’s the embarrassing secret: We, the riders who avail themselves of the ride-share services, are commonly the main offenders when it comes to importing bugs ̶ via our luggage, backpacks, briefcases, even our clothing.
But don’t worry. It just gets worse: Every kind of vehicle can become ‘home’ for these irritating bugs. But then, so can trains stations, waiting rooms, ticket areas and so on. In other words, you’re not safe anywhere, even at home!
Pets can bring in ticks and fleas you don’t even see, your kids’ backpacks pick up who knows what from school, and even those friendly delivery drivers can be ‘transporters.’ The package from Amazon carried by UPS? The Zappos box delivered by FedEx? Either, or both of them can bring ‘interlopers’ into your home.
How Can You Protect Yourself Against Bugs and Germs?
So, what do you do?
If you’re a Lyft or Uber driver (apologies to the rest of the ride-share driver, you’re also included) the first thing you need to do is address the bacteria-ridden surfaces inside your car. We suggest Sterifab, not just because it’s a highly effective disinfectant, but also because it’s a potent insecticide that will eradicate virtually any invasive bugs you might encounter.
Focusing on the disinfectant properties of Sterifab for a while. The fact is that there are almost as many disinfects on the markets as there are humans on the planet. Well, maybe not.
My point is that a product like Sterifab is unique in its versatility. While some disinfectants are created to kill a wide assortment of microorganisms, and others are meant to destroy a smaller range of bacteria, Sterifab works by destroying microbes at the cellular level. That’s why it’s commonly used in hospitals, prisons, and dental offices.
Whether you’re a ride-share driver, a business manager or a homeeowner, Sterifab is the only EPA-approved product that disinfects and also gets rid of a wide variety of insects, including fleas, bed bugs, mites and ticks, among others. Another plus for rideshare drivers: it dries quickly, it doesn’t leave any residue, and it won’t damage carpets or fabrics.
In fact, Sterifab can be used on virtually anything. And, because no perfumes are used in its manufacture, it has no unpleasant odor.
Disinfectants: The Long Term Strategy
Let's face it: keeping your ride-share car clean and tidy is a lot like keeping your house in good order. You have to do it regularly.
The same is true for keeping pests at bay. Simply because you’ve removed them doesn’t mean that they won’t be back. They will. And that has nothing to do with how clean you keep your car (or house). This is why you need to have a schedule when it comes to disinfecting and de-bugging your car.
Drive an Uber?
You can use Sterifab to disinfect.