Rideshare cabs like Uber and Lyft carry 35,000 times more germs than a toilet seat, a new study claims.
Insurance aggregator Netquote took swabs of the most commonly touched areas in ride-sharing vehicles such as doors handles, seat belts, and window buttons. They also swabbed the same spots in taxis and rental cars to determine which was dirtier for their Driving with Germs study.
The study found that ride-sharing cars had an average of six million colony-forming units (CFUs) of bacteria per square inch on those surfaces. Rental cars were found to have approximately 2 million CFUs and cabs averaged just 27,593 CFUs.
For some perspective, there are 171 CFUs on an average square inch of a toilet seat. A toothbrush holder can carry up to two million CFUs and a coffee maker carries an average of 32,000 CFUs.
According to Netquote, the filthiest part of the-ride sharing vehicles was the window switches – which carried an average of five million CFUs.
The study found that seat belts in ride-sharing vehicles carry only 1,810 CFUs on average.Door handles surprisingly only carried an average of 171 CFUs, which is just as dirty as a toilet seat, according to the findings.
Approximately one-third of the bacteria found in the back seat of rideshare cars were gram-negative rods. These types of bacteria are can be harmful to humans and antibiotic residence. They include E coli, cholera, and gonorrhea.