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Study Claims Ridesharing Cars Are Dirtier Than Toilets

Think that ridesharing vehicles are the cleanest mode of transportation around? Think again. A small study conducted by insurance shopping website NetQuote discovered that ridesharing vehicles had far more germs than toilets.

Netquote conducted a swab test to determine the relative dirtiness of ridesharing cars, rental cars, and taxicabs. Swabbing was done on the window buttons, seatbelts, steering wheel, gearshift, and door handles of random vehicle units to look for colony-forming unit numbers (CFU), the unit of measure that determines the viability of a collection of germs to proliferate and form small colonies.

The lab sent back the results of the tests, and found that ridesharing cars had it worse when it comes to germs. Ridesharing cars managed over 5 million CFU/sq.in. on the window controls and over 1 million CFU/sq.in. on seatbelts, although the door handles were relatively clean at 1,810 CFU/sq.in. average.

On the other hand, bathroom toilet seats only have around 171 CFU/sq.in, which means it’s cleaner than the insides of ridesharing cars, and significantly so. In contrast, a typical toothbrush holder can contain over 2 million CFU/sq.in.

Of course, one may reason out that helpful germs are being counted as well, and that more germs doesn’t necessarily mean more dangerous. But the risk of contracting disease increases with the number of germs, regardless if they’re good or bad.

Taxis meanwhile, had an average of 27,000 CFU/sq.in. more germs, with the seatbelts being the dirtiest. Still, it’s no reason for you to avoid buckling up.

The rental cars tested for the study yielded over 100 million CFU/sq.in. Steering wheels and gear levers were particularly the dirtiest.

So what does this tell you? For starters, it would be of great benefit to your health to wipe the surfaces that you will come in contact with, driver’s feelings be damned. For ridesharing drivers, take this is a friendly reminder that you owe it to your passengers to keep your cabin clean, organized, and free of germs.

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