With more and more people looking for convenient ways to travel, ride share apps such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in many cities all over the world. Safety is the main concern that surrounds these apps, especially during the past year. There have been various cases featured in the news which involve some serious encounters with passengers and drivers of these popular ride-share services, the most popular one being when an Uber Driver in Michigan admitted to killing six people.
The driver was reported to have gone on a shooting spree while he was making Uber pickups in between. Police reported that he had passed the background check by the company with no criminal records. Therefore, even when drivers seem to have passed the screening of a ride-sharing company, it is still very important to take some safety precautions before you hire a ride-share service. Below are three safety tips you can follow before hiring a rideshare company.
1. Authenticate the car and driver.
Before you go inside the car of the person who is supposed to drive you, ensure that both the driver and the car match the details you were notified by the service. When a passenger gets matched with a driver in Uber, the passenger will be given important details such as the picture of the driver, his/her ratings, the name of the driver, and the license number of the car. Alexandra Lamanna, Lyft corporate communications manager states that when passengers request a ride with the Lyft app, they will receive a text confirmation which includes the name of the driver as well as the color, make, and model of the car. GPS tracking in Lyft also provides passengers with other important information such as the face of the driver and the license plate. It is highly recommended to confirm and authenticate all the details provided by the ride-share company before getting into a car.
2. Avoid requesting a ride after excessive drinking.
While it may seem that drivers should be the ones who should take caution of this and avoid driving when drunk, this can also apply to passengers as well. Various reports indicate that most of the violent cases reported in ridesharing companies normally involve a passenger who has had too much to drink. Although most people normally recommend calling a ride when you are drunk so as to have someone sober drive you home, taking a ride when you have had too much to drink is also likely to lead to a dangerous situation or confrontation between you and the driver. Also, if possible, try not to ride alone when drunk and have a friend with you who can help you control your emotions especially if you are a person who tends to get violent after drinking.
3. Avoid riding in the front seat.
While all Uber and Lyft drivers must pass a thorough background criminal check before they are allowed to use the ridesharing app as a driver. However, some people have suggested that they should take it a step further and employ other strict security measures such as fingerprint scanning. Because they haven’t yet installed such strict measures into their system, it is recommended to ride in the back seat. Riding in the back will put you in a safe distance between you and the driver allowing you ample space to react accordingly in case of anything. If the driver pressures you to seat in the front seat, decline and make other safer arrangements.