Do you remember the time when your mother warned you about getting in a car with strangers? Well, the times have changed. Uber and Lyft transportation services are responsible for more than 14 million rides every day. However, this doesn’t mean that every ride is free of any risk.
There is no exact data that details the precise rate of accidents or crimes occurring during rideshares. However, almost all of us have heard personal anecdotes, news stories, and statistics attesting to the accidents, criminal activities, and danger associated with these ridesharing apps.
Even though the rate of incidents is relatively low in comparison to the volume of rideshare use, the truth is that some of these tragedies are preventable. Before you learn about some safety tips, let’s get into the biggest risks associated with the ride-sharing apps:
- Fake drivers – There are some criminals who have posed as Uber drivers and taken advantage of passengers. A student named Samantha Josephson from the University of South Carolina mistook a car for her Uber and was killed just hours later by its driver. Another woman in Las Vegas, NV, escaped a threatening and fake driver by jumping out of a moving car. These were a few incidents where a fake driver was involved.
- Accidents – You might not think about accidents and normal vehicle safety in an Uber/Lyft and not take appropriate measures. There have been many serious ridesharing accidents that could have been avoided with preventative measures.
- Criminals – These are some drivers who pass the background checks of Uber and Lyft but have criminal intent. CNN did an investigation in 2018 where they found that over 103 Uber Drivers have been accused of abusing and sexually assaulting their passengers in the past four years. Out of these, at least 31 have been convicted.
Now that you understand the biggest risks of ridesharing apps, here are a few safety tips you should know before getting in an Uber/Lyft:
Wait for the ride in a safe place
The apps tell you the exact location of your driver. You should request the ride while you are inside in a safe place. Remain in a well-lit area where you are comfortable and near other people for as long as you can.
Ask the driver your name
The family of Samantha Josephson from the University of South Carolina spearheaded the #WhatsMyName campaign for promoting rideshare safety. Make sure that the driver identifies you by your first name before getting into the car. The actual driver will know your name as well as your destination.
Verify the driver and the car
The app provides you with the details of the car, including the license plate, model, and the make of the car, along with the photo of the driver. Make sure that their appearance matches their display photo.
Avoid riding alone
If possible, you should share a ride with a friend. Not only is it a wise decision in terms of safety, but also financially as you can split the cost.
Use the trip sharing feature
Both Uber and Lyft offer a trip sharing feature allowing you to share your trip updates live with your trusted friends. You can hit “Share route” in Lyft and “Share trip status” in Uber.
Get personal safety technology
There are some devices and apps that can add layers of protection. An example of this kind of app is the iWitness app that turns your phone into a security system with an alarm, a security camera, and emergency 911 calling a shake or tap away. Tego is another app that tracks your rides and has an option for video recording.
Make sure that your driver follows the rules
Even just telling your driver to drive safely can make a big difference. Make sure that your driver doesn’t fiddle with their phone or make any calls, as distracted driving can lead to accidents. Suppose anything goes wrong during the ride- such as unsafe driving, make sure that you let the driver know immediately to end this trip before something worse happens. If you get in an accident while you take a Lyft or Uber in New York, get in touch with an experienced lawyer, such as a Syracuse rideshare accident lawyer, and let them fight your case to bring justice.
So, these were some important tips that you should know before getting into an Uber/Lyft. Share these with your loved ones to ensure their safety while using a ridesharing app.