It 2018, over 103 Uber drivers had charges brought against them. They were charged with different crimes including stalking, rape, and sexual harassment. Thankfully, Uber and other rideshare companies are working hard to provide the safest experience for their customers. Nonetheless, now, more than ever, it is important for riders to take precautions. The definition of being safe is progressively changing due to technical advances. Back when our parents were our age, they didn’t have Uber or Lyft. Back then, you either had a car, knew someone with a car, had to bare through a ride in a poorly air-conditioned bus, or took a hike. Now, there are many services that can take you from Point A to Point B. Here is how to make sure you are being transported safety.
If you are using an app service like Uber or Lyft, you can get a general feel for your prospective car ride based on the driver’s ratings and reviews. Make sure your driver has a trustworthy rating. If there are any negative comments like if the driver has a history of being aggressive, rude, making strange remarks, or anything along those lines, take that into consideration before ever putting yourself in a potentially dangerous situation.
Confirming the information is the next step. After you have determined your driver is reliable, make sure you are getting into the right vehicle with the right driver. The app you use to call the Uber, Lyft, or other service should have the details of the car and driver listed. Double-check the make of the car, license plate number, name of the driver, and any other relevant information.
When you get into the vehicle, never take the front seat. Most drivers will prefer you take the back seat anyway. Unless there are more than three persons getting into the car, get into the back seat. This way, you will most likely be out of arm's reach and it gives you more mobility to get out of the car if the ride goes sour.
Most of us have smartphones, and with a smartphone comes a multitude of GPS apps. Yes, the thing your parents always begged you to get to keep tabs on you. It actually has a great purpose beyond simply directing you to your location. Google Maps, Find My iPhone, and other apps are great at tracking and letting people know where you are. Especially if you’re meeting someone, let them know the time you plan to arrive, and send them a ping of your location so they know you are safe and on your way.
Along with letting others know where you are, it’s important for you to know where you are. Whether you are going on a long ride, somewhere you’ve never been, or even on a routine route, it’s a good idea to follow a map and know exactly where you are going and how. If your driver is taking you somewhere else, even by accident, it’s easy to contact help or let your driver know that they’re going the wrong way.
This last tip may seem a little anomalous, but talking to the driver is another way to keep yourself safe. You can only get a true sense for someone’s character if you interact with him or her. If there is anything weird or off about him or her, you might pick up on it. And while we are on the topic of talking, if you ever feel unsafe, you can always pick up your phone and call someone you know. By talking on your phone, your driver knows someone else is aware of your whereabouts and can possibly identify him or her. This might prevent the driver from making any harmful advances.
All of these tips are great things to keep in mind when you are using a ride-share service. Being aware is a great first start, but you can also go a step further and let trusted people know what’s up too. Another thing to remember is to always trust your gut. All too often, we ignore what our instincts are telling us. Maybe your gut is wrong, but either way, it is very important to listen to your body. Hint: it knows what it’s doing. Heed these suggestions to make sure your next ride is a pleasant and safe one.
Alizah Acosta is a passionate writer from the cold corner of America, better known as the Northeast. She recently graduated from Clarks Summit University with a bachelors degree. She uses the experiences and skills she has acquired and puts them in her work. Writing is not just a career, but a form of communication and an art. Writing is about showing this art form in a conveying and meaningful way.