Millions of people around the world rely on Uber and Lyft for a convenient ride, but not without risk. With tragic incidents dominating the news, passenger safety has become a hot topic. We’ve compiled six key tips to protect yourself when using rideshare services.
1. Wait for your ride indoors.
Waiting outside with a phone in your hand can put you in a vulnerable position by signaling to fake rideshare drivers that you’re waiting to be picked up. It’s always best to wait inside and head out when the app shows that your driver has arrived.
2. Ask the driver for your name.
The #WhatsMyName movement encourages rideshare users to ask their drivers, “What’s my name?” before getting in the car. Your first name will be visible to your driver whether you’re using Uber or Lyft, so it’s an easy way to identify your real driver. If the driver’s phone is mounted on the car’s dashboard, you can also look to verify that it’s displaying your name.
3. Protect your personal information.
Your driver doesn’t need to know where you live, work, or go to school. If they inquire about your destination, asking if it’s your home or place of work, change the subject or let them know that you’d rather not discuss it. Keep your phone number to yourself, too — if you need to contact the driver, do so through the app.
4. Go with a group.
There really is safety in numbers. If you can, taking a friend or family member along acts as a deterrent to drivers with bad intentions. When you have to travel alone, try the carpool option on Lyft or Uber.
5. Don’t be afraid to cancel.
If anything about your driver seems suspicious, cancel the ride and exit the vehicle immediately. You may receive a small fee, but you can’t put a price on your safety. You can also check the driver’s rating before they arrive and order a new ride if necessary. If you’re wondering how low is too low, Uber typically suspends drivers with ratings below 4.6 stars.
6. Use BestRides to share your trip.
The free BestRides app allows you to virtually bring your friends and family along for the ride. A trusted contact or two can follow your route as you go to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. Plus, they’ll receive a notification with your exact location if you indicate through the app that something’s gone wrong.
How do you stay safe when using Uber or Lyft? Share your tips in the comments section below or on Twitter!