Ride-hailing and hired cars are hotbeds for germs: study

14th of June 2016
Ride-hailing and hired cars are hotbeds for germs: study

Ride-hailing vehicles and hired cars are both hotbeds of bacteria, according to a recent study. And shared cab services harbour three times the number of germs as the average rental.

A team from insurance comparison site NetQuote took swabs from seat belts, door handles and window buttons from a number of taxis and ride-sharing services. These are companies such as Uber that enable customers to share a cab hailed from the roadside.

Scientists then swabbed the steering wheels, gear sticks and seat belts from three hire cars. Ride-sharing service vehicles were discovered to be by far the more ‘germy’ of the three types tested, harbouring more than six million colony-forming units per square inch on average.

The number of microorganisms found on surfaces in hire cars was around two million CFUs while taxis were much less bacteria-ridden than expected, with an average of just over 27,000 colony-forming units per square inch.

The tests, which were carried out in South Florida, also revealed that the seatbelts in ride-share vehicles contained 38 times more bacteria than those of the average taxi.

No particular ride-sharing service was singled out for criticism. However the report concluded: “When you rent a car, take a moment to wipe key surfaces such as the steering wheel and gear lever with a soap-based wipe before you touch them.

“And once you leave the cab or ride-share, wash your hands as soon as possible — and avoid touching your face until you do.”

 

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