Rideshare Safety Tips

Ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft have become a popular and dependable form of transportation for many people. The convenience of ordering a driver to drop you off at a specific location through a smartphone has transformed transportation around the world. As rideshares continue to be widely used around the world, safety concerns have risen given the ability for nearly anyone to sign up as an independent contractor and become a driver for these companies. While Uber and Lyft have safety measures in place and a vast majority of rides have safely transported passengers to their destination, it is important to follow these six tips to reduce the risk of dangerous situations from occurring when taking a rideshare.

Know The Car

Before getting into any vehicle, a crucial first step is to check the car’s license plate to make sure it matches the license plate number shown in the app. Verifying that the make and model of the car matches the details provided in the app is also important. Knowing that you are getting into the correct car is the first way to prevent dangerous situations from occurring, such as getting in the car of someone posing as a rideshare driver. 

Avoid Waiting Alone

When getting a ride from an Uber or Lyft driver, it is important to avoid waiting alone for your car to arrive. Especially late at night, wait for your driver to arrive inside a safe place. If possible, have a friend or family member wait with you for your driver to arrive to prevent being targeted by potential predators. Waiting on the street alone at night can make yourself vulnerable to potential criminals which is why it is safest to wait indoors for your car to arrive if you are alone. 

Tell a Friend or Family Member When Starting a Ride

One of the best practices to ensure safety during an Uber or Lyft ride is to let someone know your plan on taking a rideshare. Telling a friend, partner, or family member your location and where you are going before starting a ride will allow them to know when to expect your arrival. If a dangerous or suspicious situation occurs, someone will know to check in on you and your location. 

Sit In The Backseat

Sitting in the backseat is an important safety measure, especially when taking an Uber or Lyft ride alone. Several cases of rideshare sexual assault have been reported happening to victims sitting in the front passenger seat. Reports of sexual assault and harassment from rideshare drivers have included unwanted groping, nonconsensual kissing, and sexual abuse. Because of this, sitting in the backseat allows for appropriate distance between the driver and passenger and can reduce the risk of physical contact.

Wear a Seatbelt

Just like in any other car ride, it is always important to wear a seatbelt. Wearing a seatbelt is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself in the event of a car accident. Riding in a car without a seatbelt is not only illegal in nearly every state, but also they are extremely important for safety and preventing severe injuries or death if a car accident were to occur. Rideshare drivers may make poor driving decisions, such as speeding or distracted driving, which can be a risk for dangerous accidents causing catastrophic injuries if not wearing a seatbelt. 

Make Sure The Driver Is On The Correct Route

When riding in an Uber or Lyft, it is important to be aware of your location and pay attention to the map to ensure the driver is on the correct route to your destination. The rideshare apps display the route to your selected destination which is important to keep an eye on to make sure the driver is not deviating from the directions on the map. If you notice any suspicious deviation from the correct route, it may prompt you to politely question the driver about the different route. Staying aware of where you are while on the road, especially when taking a rideshare alone, is important to ensure you are heading to the right drop off location. 

Author: Brandon Park