Rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and others have grown in popularity over the past few years. While the benefits of using these services are clear – cost savings and increased convenience – they pose some serious safety concerns.
To stay safe while using rideshare apps such as Uber, Lyft, and Via in general, here are SIX tips for staying safe:
1. Check the Driver’s Rating On Your Mobile Ridesharing App
The #1 most important thing to do before you get in the car with a stranger is to check the driver’s rating. This is especially important if you’re trying to avoid a bad driver because it will help you avoid being taken advantage of.
The best way to check the driver’s rating is through your mobile ridesharing app. Reviewing this information, you can find out how many times they’ve been caught driving and their overall rating.
If the driver has a low rating, it could mean that they don’t have any reviews or that people had a bad experience with them in the past, so be careful about getting into their car! Also, if there are no reviews for someone, nobody has given them one yet!
2. Confirm the Car, License Plate, and Driver Before Getting In
If you have not met the driver face-to-face before, confirm that the car is theirs and that their license plate matches the plate on their vehicle. This can be done by calling them on your cell phone or texting them to ask if they are in the car.
If they are not using Uber or Lyft, ask for a photo of their license plate, and insist that you meet in a public place so you can ask for identification. Don’t get in if there is no way to verify who owns the car and/or is driving it!
3. Keep Your Personal Information Confidential
Many rideshare drivers are offering rides to you because they like your Uber rating. They want to help you get a good rating so they can get in return. Be sure to keep your personal information private.
Don’t tell anyone who you are, where your home is or where you work if asked by the driver. Please don’t share personal details with them, and make sure you don’t give out any information that would reveal your location.
4. Never Pay Cash
That’s the advice given to anyone who has ever ridden with a stranger, and it’s good advice. The reason? Criminals are always looking for ways to rip off their victims.
The most common way they do this is by posing as someone else — like an Uber driver. They’ll pretend they’re someone else to lure you into their car and steal your money.
So if you see a car that looks suspicious or if strange people are hanging around, don’t get in it. You could be putting yourself at risk of being robbed.
5. Know Your Surroundings
If you’re riding with a stranger, you must know your surroundings. This includes knowing where the nearest fire station or police station is located and any safety warnings for your destination.
If you see something suspicious — like a large group of people congregating in one location — it’s best to avoid them by taking another route or calling for help from someone with you.
If you’re a rideshare rider, it’s important to share your trip details with loved ones. If there is an emergency or medical issue, they can help get you out of harm’s way. You may also want to let them know where you are going and when you’ll be back. You could also use an app like Uber or Lyft Concierge to give them advance notice before you start your ride.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt/Robbed Or Experienced Rude Behavior?
Suppose you have been hurt/robbed or experienced rude behavior when ridesharing; there are several things that you should do immediately. First, ensure that you seek medical attention as soon as possible (in case of injury). If you were robbed, notify the police about what happened so that they can begin their investigation. It would help if you also took pictures of the whole incident and other evidence that may help your case later.
The next step must be to hire a rideshare accident lawyer to represent your interests in court proceedings and help ensure that justice is served in this case. An experienced lawyer will know how to handle these issues without wasting time or money on unnecessary delays.
On a final note…
If you’re a newcomer to ridesharing, don’t worry. All it takes is a few simple precautions and an open mind. You’ll see many different types of people, in the car and out, and that’s part of the fun. Still, there are some things you should keep in mind while using rideshare apps to stay safe while ridesharing.
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Author's Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the company in question before planning your trip.
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