Safety has been a central theme surrounding ride-share services in recent months. Ride-sharing services are a very convenient and popular way to get where you’re going; they often cost less and are quicker to arrive than a traditional taxi cab. The popular ride-sharing companies have safety guidelines in place, but just like when using a traditional taxi driver, it’s a good idea to observe the following safety tips when using this service.
Call and wait for your driver inside.
- Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand.
- Wait indoors until the app shows your driver is arriving.
Confirm the name of the driver and make of the vehicle.
- Most ride-sharing mobile apps offer passengers details such as the driver’s name, their photo and vehicle type.
- Before getting inside the vehicle, ask the driver "Who are you here for?"
Check the driver’s rating on your mobile ride-sharing app.
- If you are uncomfortable with potential driver’s rating, cancel the ride and call for another. Share your trip details with friends or family.
- Uber users can tap "share status" to share driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with family or friends.
- Lyft users can tap the "send ETA" icon which will send a text message to family or friends.
- If your ride-hailing service doesn’t offer a status or ETA share option, snap a picture of the vehicle license plate and send it to a family member or a friend.
Be a backseat rider.
- If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and gives you and your driver some personal space.
Protect your personal information.
- There is no need to share your phone number or contact information with your driver.
Follow along in your own maps app.
- Open up your own maps tool, enter your destination and follow along, noting any odd route shifts.
Travel in groups when possible.
- There’s safety in numbers. Try riding with a friend or consider using the carpool option that some ride-hailing services offer such as Uber Pool or Lyft Line.
If you sense that you are in trouble…
- Call 911.
- If you are able, get out of and away from the vehicle and go to the nearest open business or public area.
- If a threat seems imminent and people are close by, yell, blow a whistle, or make a commotion in any way that you can to attract attention.
- Report all crimes (actual, attempted or suspected) to the police.
- Program these important phone numbers into your cell phone:
When in doubt, dial 911.
*Information courtesy of University of California San Francisco.