A 2019 Uber safety report reveals that as of 2018, more than 3,000 sexual assaults occurred during Uber rides, and nine people were killed, according to The Verge. On March 29, 2019, Samantha Josephson, a student at the University of South Carolina, called an Uber after a night out in Five Points district, Columbia. According to police, Samantha got into the vehicle she believed was her Uber ride, but it wasn’t. Instead, she got into Nathaniel Rowland’s car.
A few hours later, Samantha’s body was found in rural Clarendon County. This incident sparked calls for enhanced ridesharing safety. In a bid to meet client demands, ridesharing services have increased their safety measures. Some service providers are even leveraging the latest technologies changing how we commute to keep commuters safe. For example, Uber has added an emergency button to its apps so users can dial 911 quickly. Below are ridesharing safety tips you should know.
Request your Ride Inside a Safe Place
As a general rule of thumb, avoid waiting outside for your ride to pick you up. Instead, order an Uber or Lyft service while you’re inside a safe place and stay there until your driver arrives. Since ridesharing apps show you the location of your expected ride, make it a habit to go out and meet your driver when they arrive. Verifying your Uber or Lyft ride before getting into any car also goes a long way in enhancing your safety. Check the car model, license plate number, and driver’s physical appearance to ensure they match the details listed on the app.
Ensure your Driver Follows Traffic Rules
Your driver’s behavior on the road will have a significant impact on your safety and that of other road users. So, tell your driver that your safety is a top priority and remind them of the importance of defensive driving. The last thing you want is to get involved in an accident while riding in an Uber. According to Uber accident settlement attorneys, passengers are not at fault for causing a collision. However, it’s the passengers’ legal responsibility to point out who caused the accident so they can hold them liable for injuries and medical expenses. Typically, if your ridesharing driver causes an accident, their insurer will take liability. But if another driver is responsible, you might find yourself fighting with them about who’s liable. Ensuring your driver follows traffic rules can help prevent the legal and financial implications of a car accident.
Take Advantage of Trip-Sharing Features
Sharing your trip details with loved ones is a sure way of staying safe when using ridesharing services. Therefore, utilize the in-app trip sharing feature integrated into both Uber and Lyft apps so your family and friends can track your ride. If you’re using Uber, all you have to do is tap on the Share trip Status. These features allow you to share the driver’s name, profile picture, license plate number, and location with a loved one. Lyft also allows its users to share trips once they hit the Share route on the app.
Ridesharing guarantees convenience, but your safety as a passenger might be at risk due to fake drivers, criminals, and auto-related accidents. To stay safe while using carpooling services, share trip details with loved ones. Also, request and wait for rides in safe places, and ensure your driver follows traffic laws.