HopSkipDrive safety FAQs


FAQsNo matter how far or fast we grow, we remain obsessed with safety here at HopSkipDrive. Our technology and processes are designed for safety. In fact, we ask ourselves every day: "What would it take for us to put our own kids in a HopSkipDrive vehicle?"

From data protection to preventing risky driving behaviors, there’s a lot that goes into being a leader in the safe youth transportation space. So how, exactly, do we ensure the safety of Riders, CareDrivers, our team and the driving public at large?

To answer to that question, we compiled a list of HopSkipDrive safety FAQs. Read on to learn how we use our most valuable resources — technology and people —to provide cutting-edge transportation solutions that are safe and reliable.

CareDriver certification

How do CareDrivers gain access to the HopSkipDrive platform?

Our 15-point CareDriver certification process was developed to ensure that only trusted and uniquely qualified individuals with at least 5 years of caregiving experience can access the platform. CareDrivers are more than drivers; we like to say they’re "caregivers on wheels."

As a transportation network company (TNC), we follow state regulatory requirements. Because we’re working with children, however, we often exceed them. Here are some ways we do so when certifying CareDrivers: 

  • We require five-plus years of caregiving experience, three of which must be child-specific. We believe caregiving experience is crucial when working with populations that need a little extra care.
  • We require a Child Abuse and Neglect Scan. CareDrivers must receive state-level clearance from the Department of Human Services database.* In fact, we worked with the California Public Utilities Commission to adopt these checks among all youth transportation solutions.
  • We require a minimum of three years of driving experience. 
  • We require a DMV records check, as well as an ongoing clean driving record. As per regulations, DMV records must show no multiple moving violations, reckless driving, driving without a license or DUI. CareDrivers also enroll in ongoing monitoring so that HopSkipDrive is quickly alerted of any new criminal charges or motor vehicle violations.
  • We require CareDrivers to be age 23 or older.
  • CareDrivers complete a live orientation with a member of the HopSkipDrive team.

*Implemented for prospective drivers in 2021. In some markets, this may be completed after activation on the platform for new and existing CareDrivers.

If there is a change to a CareDriver’s DMV records or other background information, how do you respond?

All CareDrivers must pass criminal background and motor vehicle history checks in order to gain access to the HopSkipDrive platform. CareDrivers also must keep their documents up to date, including driver's license, insurance, vehicle registration and local business licenses. 

We receive alerts of any change to motor vehicle or criminal histories on an ongoing basis. If there is a change to a CareDriver’s DMV or criminal records, HopSkipDrive pauses the CareDriver’s account while we investigate. 

The CareDriver is unable to claim rides during the investigation. If they are found to have committed a crime or are at fault for an accident,

Safety on the road

How do you ensure safe driving behavior?

We are incredibly serious about safety — for CareDrivers, Riders and the general motoring public. 

As part of our multifaceted safety efforts, HopSkipDrive works with a leading industry partner that uses in-app technology to detect unsafe driving patterns across six key indicators: speeding, hard braking, rapid acceleration, tight turns, phone usage and major collision detection. This information is summarized into a weekly report provided to CareDrivers, along with tips for addressing any unsafe driving patterns. 

Thanks to this continuous transparency into driving patterns, 99.699% of rides completed on the HopSkipDrive platform in 2021 ended without a safety-related issue of any kind. Learn more: Check out our 2021 Safety Report.

In addition, we have a Zero Tolerance Policy when it comes to driving under the influence and illegal phone use while driving. CareDrivers are subject to drug and/or alcohol testing if the company reasonably suspects them of using, possessing or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while they are performing services through the use of the HopSkipDrive platform. Any CareDriver who engages in these behaviors will be immediately removed from the platform. 

Our Zero Tolerance Policy also bans physical contact with Riders beyond safety measures such as helping a child into their booster seat or other requests made by Ride Organizers.

How do you ensure HopSkipDrive Riders wear their seatbelts and stay safely buckled in?

CareDrivers keep booster seats in their vehicles for Riders who need them. Children who don’t need booster seats must be safely buckled in before the CareDriver begins driving. 

We ask that Riders follow HopSkipDrive Community Guidelines so the CareDriver can focus on the road. These guidelines include such things as no eating or drinking in the car, no roughhousing and no yelling.

Safety during pickup and drop-off

How do you ensure children are picked up and dropped off at the correct location?

As soon as CareDrivers check in for rides, our Safe Ride Support System begins tracking the ride progress. (Driving patterns are also being recorded at this point.) If the CareDriver seems to be off track for the pickup, we will contact the CareDriver immediately (and send a new CareDriver if needed).

Ride Organizers and CareDrivers can contact each other through the app (phone numbers are masked) if there is an issue with finding a child.

If there are specific instructions or drop-off requirements in a Rider's profile, CareDrivers will follow them. Even if there are no Rider notes provided, CareDrivers will still ensure the Rider gets safely to their destination. If an adult who is meant to meet the Rider at drop-off isn’t there, the CareDriver will wait until the adult arrives or an alternative solution is reached.

How do you ensure that my child will go with the right person at pickup? 

HopSkipDrive uses many in-app and on-the-ground processes to ensure the well-being of Riders and support the safety of each and every ride.

When a ride is claimed by a CareDriver on the HopSkipDrive platform, the Ride Organizer and other users listed on the Rider's account (including caregivers, parents or guardians who may not have scheduled the ride themselves) receive the CareDriver’s photo, bio and vehicle information — including their license plate number — via text and email. They can also view this information in the HopSkipDrive app or in RideIQ.

Ride Organizers often share this information with the Rider so they feel more confident finding their CareDriver. Having information about the CareDriver ahead of time also helps Riders feel more comfortable because they’ve been "introduced," in a way, to their future CareDriver.  

CareDrivers can be identified at pickup by the bright-orange HopSkipDrive decals they'll have on the front and back windows of their vehicle. The safety-driven HopSkipDrive ride process also includes a multi-factor authentication step that ensures the right Rider has found the right CareDriver.

Rider profiles can include detailed notes about pickup procedures, so the CareDriver may sign the child out or pick up the child from another adult.

How can the CareDriver get pickup instructions if the parent isn’t available?

When booking a HopSkipDrive ride, the Ride Organizer (the person who is scheduling the ride) is asked to enter pickup and drop-off notes. These notes can include specific instructions for the CareDriver such as pickup procedures, landmarks and more. 

Can HopSkipDrive accommodate individual school safety procedures?

HopSkipDrive is well-versed with the variety of security measures employed by schools to keep students safe, and will work with schools to ensure the safety or each ride. Ride Organizers can add any special safety measures to ride notes for the CareDriver, and they can update these notes at any time if procedures change.

If a child will be meeting a staff member at school, the CareDriver will ensure they are safely handed off to that adult before leaving. CareDrivers can also sign children out at the school office or perform any other security steps required by the school or business. 

Safety through visibility

Can I view the HopSkipDrive ride as it is happening?

Ride Organizers and any users listed on a Rider’s account are notified via email and/or text along each stage of the ride — six times in total.

They can also track the ride in real-time, and can even view it on a map to see the ride’s progress.

Can my Rider receive texts about their rides as well?

Yes. If a Rider has a cell phone and you add the number to their profile, they can get notifications on ride status via text. 

When the CareDriver arrives, they’ll get a text message with the vehicle information, the CareDriver’s name and the vehicle license plate number. 

The CareDriver can also contact them through the app if they have trouble locating them. Riders’ phone numbers are masked, so CareDrivers do not have access to a child’s actual contact information.

Please note: Even if a Rider has a cell phone, they still must go through the multi-factor authentication process upon pickup.

What if a child or Ride Organizer prefers not to get a specific CareDriver again?

We know that not everyone is a perfect match. If Riders prefer to not be matched with a specific CareDriver again, their Ride Organizer can rate that CareDriver and choose to block them in the app.

The CareDriver will not know they are blocked but they will not see, or have the option to claim, that specific child’s rides anymore.

Ride Organizers and any other user on a Rider's account can also contact HopSkipDrive directly to share feedback about a CareDriver. CareDrivers who violate our policies may be removed from the HopSkipDrive platform.  

How do you keep private information and data secure?

Because we deal with information related to children, we take security very seriously. Access to personal data like Rider and parent contact information or addresses is limited to those who need it. This information is also carefully encrypted so it cannot be accessed off the platform.

You can review our Privacy Policy for more detailed information.

Safety regulations and standards

How is HopSkipDrive regulated?

As a transportation network company (or TNC), HopSkipDrive is regulated by various state agencies, which hold us to strict TNC regulations. We regularly exceed these. In some cases, we are also subject to state Department of Education regulations, many of which we also meet or exceed. 

While the TNC regulating body varies from state to state, the general driver criteria applies across all states. This criteria often overlaps with Department of Education requirements.

Read more about HopSkipDrive safety.

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