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HopSkipDrive Safety FAQs

HopSkipDrive has enabled safe rides for over 1.4 million children, with over 20 million safe miles driven.

No matter how far or fast we grow, we remain obsessed with safety. We designed technology and processes for maximum safety. In fact, we ask ourselves every day, ‘What would it take to put our own kids in a HopSkipDrive car?’

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? Well we’ll tell you… We’ve compiled a list of safety FAQs — read on to learn how we use our tech, our team, and the awesome community around us to work together to stay safe.

CareDriver Certification

How are CareDrivers certified to access the HopSkipDrive platform?

Our 15-point CareDriver certification process was developed to ensure trusted individuals with caregiving experience could access the platform. CareDrivers are more than drivers, they’re caregivers on wheels.

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

    • Five plus years of caregiving experience, at least three of it child-specific. We believe caregiving experience is crucial, especially working with populations that need a little extra care.
    • Pass a Child Abuse and Neglect Scan: CareDrivers must reveive 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.
    • Minimum of three years driving experience. 
    • Good DMV records AND a continued good driving record. As per regulations, CareDrivers’ DMV records must show no recent hits of DUI, reckless driving, driving without a license, or multiple moving violations. However, CareDrivers also enroll in ongoing monitoring so that HopSkipDrive is quickly alerted of any new criminal or motor vehicle history.
  • Must be age 23 or older. 
  • 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 access the HopSkipDrive Platform.

CareDrivers also must keep their documents up to date, including drivers 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 driver is unable to claim rides during the investigation, and if they are found to have committed a crime or are at fault for an accident, they will be deactivated from the Platform. 

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. 

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. 

Through continuous transparency into driving patterns, CareDrivers were found to be 800% less prone to device distraction than the general public and had collision rates 140x less than the national average. Learn more: Check out our HopSkipDrive Safety Report.

In addition, we have a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence or 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 driver who engages in these behaviors will be immediately removed from the Platform. 

Our Zero Tolerance policy also bans physical contact with Riders beyond safety checks like helping a child into their booster seat or other requests made by Ride Organizers.

Learn more: Check out our HopSkipDrive Safety Report.

In addition, we have a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence or illegal phone use while driving. Any driver who engages in these behaviors will be immediately removed from the Platform. Our Zero Tolerance policy also bans physical contact with Riders beyond safety checks like 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 vehicle 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 the HopSkipDrive Community Guidelines so the driver can focus. Guidelines include no eating or drinking in the car, no roughhousing, and no yelling.

Safety During Pickup and Dropoff

 

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

Our Safe Ride Support System tracks each and every ride while it’s in progress — HopSkipDrive, Ride Organizers and caregivers on the Rider’s account can also track the ride and receive status updates.

As soon as CareDrivers check in for rides, our Safe Ride System begins tracking the ride progress. (Driving patterns are also being recorded at this point.) If the driver seems to be off track for the pick-up, we will contact the CareDriver immediately, and can 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 no notes, CareDrivers still ensure a child can get safely into their home or aftercare program. If there are specific dropoff requirements, CareDrivers follow them. If an adult who is meant to receive the child isn’t home, the CareDriver will wait until there is someone home or an alternative solution is reached.

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

When a ride is claimed, the Ride Organizer and Users on the Riders account (including caregivers who may not be organizing rides themselves) receive the CareDriver’s photo, bio, and vehicle information, including their license plate number, via text and email.

Ride Organizers often share this information with the Rider so they feel more confident finding their CareDriver, and more comfortable because they’ve been ‘introduced’ to their future CareDriver.  

CareDrivers are identifiable at pick-up because they will have bright orange HopSkipDrive decals on the front and back window of their vehicle. Using a multi-factor authentication system, the Rider and CareDriver ensure they’ve found the right person.

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

How can the CareDriver get pick-up instructions if the parent isn’t available?

When booking a HopSkipDrive trip, the Ride Organizer is asked to enter pick-up and dropoff notes. They can put any specific instructions for the driver like pick-up 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; 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 policies required by the school or business.  In addition, our Community Support team can help Ride Organizers with any needs.

With the advent of COVID-19, these policies are temporarily changed. CareDrivers will not get out of the car to sign children out, but will follow COVID-19 procedures. See our COVID-Safe Ride Standards for more information.

 

Safety Through Visibility

Can I view the HopSkipDrive ride as it is happening?

Ride Organizers and Users 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 while it’s in progress and can even view the 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 texts. 

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

The CareDriver can 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.

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

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

We know that not everyone is a perfect match. If Riders prefer to not be matched with a 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 that specific child’s rides to claim anymore in order to prevent future matches.

Ride Organizers and any other User on the child’s account can also contact HopSkipDrive directly with additional feedback. CareDrivers who violate our policies may be removed from the 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, and carefully encrypted so it cannot be accessed off the Platform. For more information, check out our Privacy Policy.

COVID-Safe Ride Standards

How is HopSkipDrive assuring COVID-19 safety?

HopSkipDrive’s COVID-Safe Ride Standards incorporate advice from public health experts as well as local guidelines.

Face coverings: Consistent with CDC Recommendations, CareDrivers must wear face coverings and proper personal protective equipment during rides; Riders are also asked to follow CDC and local guidelines on wearing personal protective equipment.

Cleaning & disinfection: Vehicles must be cleaned and disinfected between rides consistent with CDC recommendations. CareDrivers must affirm in the app that they have sanitized vehicles prior to each ride.

Reducing physical contact: We require Ride Organizers to assist Riders, as needed, to find their ride and load into the vehicle to reduce contact between CareDriver and Rider. HopSkipDrive also asks Ride Organizers to follow CDC and local guidelines by keeping Riders home if they show COVID-19 symptoms.

Technology enablement: In-app notifications remind Ride Organizers and CareDrivers of COVID-Safe Ride Standards and best practices, while enabling real-time feedback from CareDrivers, Riders and Ride Organizers.

In-app features enable CareDrivers to affirm they are asymptomatic and have not been exposed to COVID-19 prior to offering rides through the platform.

Anonymous exposure reporting: HopSkipDrive will facilitate anonymous COVID-19 exposure reporting to the extent that such notification does not jeopardize privacy interests. No personal information will be shared in the process.

Regulations & Standards

How is HopSkipDrive regulated?

As a transportation network company, HopSkipDrive is regulated by various state agencies holding us to strict TNC regulations; we regularly exceed these. In some cases, we are also subject to state Department of Education regulations. We meet or exceed many of their requirements, when applicable, as well. 

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.

More information on HopSkipDrive safety here.

If you are a school, district, county or other organization, learn more about how HopSkipDrive can partner with you to get students where they need to go.

Interested in learning more about HopSkipDrive’s non-routine student transportation solution?

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