Earlier this year, the gut wrenching story of 21 year old Samantha Josephson swept the nation. Getting into what she thought was her Uber rideshare ultimately put her in a fatal scenario.
In the aftermath of this devastating event, rideshare safety took center stage. Local governments in New Jersey and South Carolina passed bills to make rideshare drivers and vehicles more identifiable. However, that didn’t prevent this Arizona woman’s recent scare.
So what can we do to still arrive home safely? Following these seven suggestions can help you continue using rideshare apps while also protecting your life.
Triple check the car and driver.
Check the make, model, and color of the vehicle multiple times before climbing in. Also, identify the license plate and ask the driver to share their name and yours. Don’t let stickers fool you as these can easily be duplicated. Finally, use the rideshare app to your advantage by matching the driver’s photograph to their face.
Let the driver ID you.
Never hop in and say, “Here for (insert your name here)?” Instead, let the driver state your name and identify themselves as a rideshare driver. Directing the driver to identify you first adds an additional layer of safety.
Chart your own directions.
This is incredibly important if you’re in a new city or unfamiliar area. By navigating your own route, you can follow along as your rideshare drives, ensuring you’re going on a pre-approved path.
Don’t disclose personal details during small talk.
It’s hard to avoid small talk in the car. However, the world isn’t always a safe place, especially for a woman riding alone. By providing personal details, we unknowingly give a stranger a glimpse into our lives.
Let someone else know where you are.
Most rideshare apps include a feature that allows you to share your ride info with a trusted contact. Use this valuable tool to let someone know where you are. Android user? Click here. Apple user? Check this out.
Use caution when entering and exiting the car.
Request your ride from inside a building if at all possible. When entering the vehicle, always sit in the backseat, preferably behind the passenger seat. This provides an unobstructed view of the driver and ability to monitor what they’re doing. Before exiting the car, check your surroundings.
Sharing your experience is a vital part of consumerism, and your feedback helps your driver and the business. At their core, rideshare businesses are just that: businesses. If you felt unsafe with a driver, report it. Your feedback can help keep others safe.
Rideshare apps provide many of us with a safe way to get home, to the airport, or even to work. Practicing these safety tips ensures you travel from Point A to B safely and smoothly. For additional safety tips, check out Uber and Lyft.