A number of scary situations have taken place in the ridesharing world this year. In response, Uber and Lyft have taken several steps towards making their services safer. We ranked the apps’ top five safety features, so read on and be sure to take full advantage of them on your next trip.
1. Real-time driver identification.
Uber regularly asks its drivers to snap a selfie, which is then matched against their verified on-file photo to guarantee the right person is behind the wheel. If the two pictures don’t match, Uber automatically blocks the driver from picking up riders. The new feature, called Real-Time ID Check, uses Microsoft technology to make sure that no unverified individuals are picking up rideshare users.
2. In-app emergency buttons.
Both the Uber and Lyft apps now have a way for riders to directly contact emergency services. Whether your vehicle crashes or your driver is threatening your safety, you can dial 911 through your app of choice with the click of a button. The best part? Uber will also bring up your exact location, the make and model of the vehicle you’re in, and the license plate number so you can quickly and easily share these important details with the 911 dispatcher.
3. Regular driver screenings.
Criminal and motor vehicle checks occur on a regular basis for Lyft and Uber drivers in all cities. These screenings involve a Social Security number trace, a sex offender registry search, a nationwide criminal search, a county court records search, and a federal criminal search to cover all bases. Any driver that doesn’t pass these checks, whether on Uber or Lyft, is banned for life.
4. Reminders to check your ride.
Uber now sends push notifications to users reminding them to double-check their ride’s make and model, color, and license plate before entering the vehicle. Lyft is currently redesigning its app to better highlight these ride details. This serve to prevent riders from inadvertently entering the wrong car, which is an unfortunately common occurrence.
5. Address and phone number anonymization.
Numerous incidents have stemmed from drivers having access to rider addresses, jeopardizing the the safety of Uber and Lyft users alike. Enter address anonymization, a new feature that conceals pickup and dropoff addresses in the driver’s trip history. If you need to contact your driver before they arrive, the apps will mask your phone number as well. Both the Uber or Lyft apps will hide your phone number so your driver can’t see or save it. Going forward, you’ll be able to use ridesharing services without worrying about revealing your personal information to strangers.
Want to ensure and enhance your safety while ridesharing? The free BestRides app lets you share your journey with friends and family — and notify them immediately if anything goes wrong. Plus, you can compare Uber, Lyft, and taxi prices right in the app. Download it for iOS or Android and let us know what you think in the comments section below!