The things we do for safety at HopSkipDrive
Written by Karen Sampson
We do many things in the name of safety at HopSkipDrive — and we are constantly innovating to make sure safety remains top of mind as we provide schools, districts, organizations and families with the best ride experience in the industry.
As a data-driven company, we utilize data to help fuel our ongoing safety programs. We’re proud to be able to say we have some of the best safety data in the industry.
Here are some of the many things we do to ensure safety remains the guiding principle behind every decision we make.
CareDriver background checks and certification
Our 15-point CareDriver certification process confirms that prospective CareDrivers meet our stringent qualifications before they gain access to the HopSkipDrive platform. This in-depth process incorporates regulatory requirements and industry best practices related to safety.
Every CareDriver receives a fingerprint-based background check against FBI records. We also run extensive checks with various agencies, including county, state, and national records; the global watchlist; and sex offender databases. Platform safety investments also include a Child Abuse and Neglect Scan (CANS) for all prospective CareDrivers where legally permitted. CareDrivers also undergo a motor vehicle record review, and are enrolled in ongoing monitoring of criminal and driving records.
All CareDrivers must have at least five years of caregiving experience, and their vehicle must pass an annual inspection by a certified mechanic. Prospective CareDrivers must also have a minimum of three years of prior driving experience.
Individuals who are able to meet this and other established criteria may use the HopSkipDrive platform to provide transportation care services.
While CareDrivers are at the heart of HopSkipDrive’s mission, safety at HopSkipDrive is a priority in many different ways. All vehicles being used to perform rides on the HopSkipDrive platform, for example, must pass a yearly vehicle inspection in accordance with regulations.
These inspections evaluate a vehicle’s safety and operability, covering everything from brakes to windshield wipers. There is a special focus on the areas of a vehicle that are pivotal to a safe ride such as the foot and emergency brakes, steering wheel, speedometer, safety belts and tires. These all need to be in working order before a vehicle is approved for use for rides arranged through the HopSkipDrive platform.
Although state regulations can vary in terms of the maximum age allowed for a vehicle being used to perform services, the standards we set for safety at HopSkipDrive require that vehicles be 10 years old or less. HopSkipDrive also monitors information regarding vehicle recalls and alerts CareDrivers any time there is a recall match to a vehicle type being used to perform rides.
CareDrivers have access to a number of resources related to safety, including resources that cover topics such as trauma-informed care, maintaining appropriate boundaries, sensitivity to individuals with special needs and safe driving tips. This information can be used by CareDrivers to further their own transportation caregiving professions.
CareDrivers also have access to various safety-related resources specific to HopSkipDrive rides, including what to do in an emergency or what to do if a Rider requests a different drop-off location.
Community Guidelines and Zero Tolerance Policies
HopSkipDrive Community Guidelines help ensure a safe, smart and respectful experience for all platform Users. These guidelines are read and accepted by each User when joining the HopSkipDrive platform to ensure a high level of service, and are designed with both CareDrivers and Riders in mind to help remind everyone of key platform safety features.
These policies prevent the use of recording devices, unwanted communication between CareDrivers and Riders beyond the ride, and eating and drinking during rides. They also emphasize the importance of maintaining age-appropriate communication. In addition, we enforce a no-weapons and no-smoking policy for all HopSkipDrive rides.
HopSkipDrive’s Zero Tolerance Policies protect all HopSkipDrive Users from discrimination and prohibits physical contact between a CareDriver and youth Riders. In the case of adult Riders, limited physical assistance may be requested. We also have a Zero Tolerance Policy against illegal phone use and impaired driving — including the use, possession or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while using the HopSkipDrive platform.
Any User found to be in violation of any of these policies will be suspended and/or removed from the HopSkipDrive platform.
Technology designed for safety
HopSkipDrive’s proprietary Safe Ride Support System provides unparalleled end-to-end visibility into rides. Continually developed, it operates in tandem with other processes designed to provide real-time response and unparalleled service to all HopSkipDrive Users.
With automated incident prediction, HopSkipDrive is able to identify issues before they arise. With real-time collision detection, the team is alerted instantly. The Safe Ride Support System also provides automated messaging to CareDrivers, parents or caregivers, and emergency contacts throughout the progress of a ride.
Our platform incorporates unique safety features designed specifically for the vulnerable populations that use HopSkipDrive including Rider/CareDriver verification and a fully integrated CareDriver safety program that outpaces the industry.
Safety during the ride
The progress of each ride can be tracked using the HopSkipDrive app, and caregivers and parents will receive text messages alerting them to the progress of the ride. They can also, of course, always call support for any urgent rides issues.
HopSkipDrive’s COVID-Safe Ride Standards — technology workflows and features to ensure an optimal in-ride environment — were created using CDC and local guidelines and implemented across all markets.
Protecting the privacy of HopSkipDrive platform Users is extremely important. With the majority of Riders being children under the age of 18, HopSkipDrive has made data privacy a top priority by implementing a number of administrative, technical and physical security controls designed to safeguard personal information.
HopSkipDrive Users have limited access to one another’s information and only receive certain details after a ride has been claimed. Ride Organizers are provided access to identifying information for the CareDriver, including their name, photo and vehicle information. CareDrivers can view pickup and drop-off locations when claiming rides, and receive Rider information only upon pickup. This information is then masked after the ride is complete. Phone numbers are masked via in-app communication.
Safety Advisory Board
Safety at HopSkipDrive is always our number-one priority, which is why we continue to research, develop, implement and enhance platform features to optimize safety for the entire HopSkipDrive community.
The goal of HopSkipDrive’s Safety Advisory Board — the first of its kind in the industry — is to advise on safety initiatives and further advance our safety leadership. Our Safety Advisory Board is comprised of industry leaders at the very top of their respective fields, from leaders of some of the most well-respected organizations on youth transportation safety to experts on public health.
Additional members across all fields are constantly being evaluated for the Safety Advisory Board. New information regarding the Board’s charter can be found on HopSkipDrive’s Safety page.