Ridesharing companies, namely Uber and Lyft, have become increasingly popular in recent times, and for a good reason. They offer safe, reliable, and affordable car ride services.
But, there have been instances where these services have proved dangerous for the passengers. The best way to be safe is to learn how to secure yourself in sticky situations and keep track of your surroundings.
Here are five important safety tips you should consider before entering an Uber ride.
Request an Uber in a Safe Public Area
If you’re requesting an Uber at home, don’t go out until the app tells you that the driver is right outside, especially if it’s dark or you live in a dangerous part of town. Holding a phone and waiting around for a ride makes you a prime target for impersonators that will try to get you in their car.
Similarly, if you’re out and about the city but need to request an Uber to get back home, you should ideally be in a safe and busy part of town. Criminals and dangerous people usually get discouraged if they notice too many people.
Determine if it’s the Right Car
Ensure that the car you’re about to get into is your official Uber driver. Some details you should look out for are:
- Uber driver’s name.
- Vehicle’s License plate number.
- Uber driver’s photo.
- Uber account logged in on their phone’s app.
Countless instances have occurred where people have been kidnapped, robbed, or severely injured by someone claiming to be their Uber driver. It is immensely crucial for passengers to authenticate their driver, regardless of the ridesharing service.
Know the Law if an Accident Occurs
Though riding in rideshare is quite safe, it doesn’t protect you from the chances of a car accident happening. When an Uber car accident occurs, the liability typically falls on the driver since the Uber company classifies its drivers as independent contractors rather than full-fledged employees.
All responsibility is then placed in the hands of the driver. But determining exactly who is liable in such a case is a critical point if you were a passenger in the vehicle. You might be able to get compensation from the insurance companies of both parties if the circumstances line up.
Let People Know Where You Are
Hypothetically, if you do happen to get yourself stuck in a sticky situation, where your only hope is outside help, telling people your location beforehand is the only solution. Even if there’s no chance of danger, being safe and setting preemptive measures is important.
Uber and other ridesharing apps also provide passengers the ability to share their location and trip status publicly, including the driver’s name and vehicle information. If you ever feel threatened or in danger during a ride, tell your driver you’ve made this data public to scare them off.
Don’t Ride When You Are Vulnerable
In many cases, people believe it’s safer to request an Uber if they’re drunk, high, or just incredibly fatigued. And that may be true to some extent, but it certainly increases the risk of someone taking advantage of you or you getting in the wrong vehicle.
If you are in any way intoxicated or physically impaired, it’s always best to call a friend and ask them for a ride, rather than depending on a complete stranger.