One of the many great services to come out of the digital age is ride sharing. Apps like Uber and Lyft have made getting a ride to or from just about anywhere incredibly convenient. All a person has to do is pull up the app on their phone and a driver will soon be on their way.
Unfortunately, as great as this new tech is, there are still some problems. As with anything good, there are people out there who want to take advantage of it. Some people are just bad at driving people around, while others are purposefully looking for ways to take advantage of people. When hiring a ride through these services, a person needs to be careful so that they don’t end up in any sort of danger.
Ride Share Safety Tips
When a person is hiring a Lyft, Uber, or any other sort of ride sharing driver, they should try following these tips to help keep themselves safe.
- Alert the driver to being tracked. People are more likely to commit crimes when they think they can get away with it. Let a driver know that the ride is being tracked. This can be done by calling someone while in the car and saying something like: “I’m in my Uber and on my way. I’ll be there in 15 minutes and you can track the ride on the app.” If a person doesn’t want to call someone at an odd hour, they can always leave a voice memo to themselves but pretend it’s a call.
- Be a good passenger. This means a person should always wear their seat belt, avoid distracting the driver, and never ask the driver to do anything dangerous.
- Be courteous to others. When riding with other passengers, be polite and kind to them as well as to the driver.
- Check driver’s ratings. Driver’s with bad ratings typically have those ratings for a reason and should be avoided.
- Choose seats carefully. Try to avoid sitting in the front when possible. Sitting in the back can put space between the rider and the driver and offers two doors to exit from rather than just one. A person should try to pick a seat that allows them to see the road, to make sure the driver is going the right way. A good driver won’t mind where a passenger sits, so beware of drivers who insist on someone sitting in a certain spot.
- Don’t get personal. There is no reason to give personal information, such as a last name, phone number, or social media information, to a driver. There is also never a need to pay a driver in person. That is always handled through the app. Lastly, if a person is getting a ride home, they should have the driver drop them off somewhere safe and close to their own house, but not at the address itself to avoid giving away a home address.
- Make sure the driver drives safely. Every driver should follow the rules of the road, especially drivers who are doing so professionally.
- Report sketchy incidents. If anything happens that raises some alarms, report it on the app once safe. This can help prevent something bad from happening to someone else.
- Ride with others. Everyone knows that there is strength in numbers, and the same is true for getting a ride. Try to ride with other people whenever possible.
- Share trip information. Both Uber and Lyft allow users to share their trip with trusted contacts. This way, friends and family members will receive live updates on where the passenger’s phone is to know if the car is going the right way.
- Trust yourself. Even if we may not know why, we often are pretty good at picking up on bad situations. If a person’s gut is telling them something is off, they should listen to it. A person should always prioritize their safety over their passenger rating.
- Verify the vehicle. A person should always make sure that the vehicle that showed up is the one listed on their phone. Not just the make and model but also the license plate as well. Also make sure that the driver matches their photo on the app.
- Wait in safety. When waiting for a ride, be sure to wait in a safe area that is well-lit. For instance, request the ride from inside a well-lit and populated building and only go out once the driver has arrived.
- Watch for traffic. Always check for traffic before entering or exiting a vehicle. No one wants to get hit by a car.
- What’s my name? Never get straight into a car. Instead, a person should approach the driver and ask them what their name is. The official driver will know the name of the person they are there to pick up and the person’s destination as well.
Ride sharing apps and companies like Lyft and Uber are great ways for people to get around. This is especially important around the holiday season as people are busy going to parties and having fun. With services like this, they are able to drink as much as they want and still secure a safe ride home.