Ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are very popular with people who don’t need a car very often, people traveling to unfamiliar destinations and people who are going to parties and events where they may be drinking.
Unfortunately, your personal safety can be a real concern when you use these services. Take, for example, the tragic death of a young woman who mistook a stranger’s vehicle for her Uber ride. What can you do to remain safer when you use one of these services?
A little caution goes a long way
You can often protect yourself from assaults and injuries by taking a few simple steps:
- Wait inside when you place your request for service. That way, you aren’t obviously standing around waiting on someone to pull up.
- Check the details you have against the car and driver. Uber and Lyft responded to the death mentioned by making sure that their apps include all the details you need to verify your ride is legitimate. Check the car’s license plate, its make and model, and look at the driver’s photo.
- Confirm that the driver is there for you – without giving up your name. Ask something like, “Who are you picking up?” before you get inside. Make eye contact with the driver so you can gauge your feelings about their trustworthiness and personality.
- Share your details with someone. Whether it’s your mom or your best friend, make sure that someone knows that you’re taking one of these services and text them details about your trip and the driver. Keep your phone on and open during the drive.
- Sit in the back. Even if everything checks out, you can’t afford to forget that you do not know this person driving you. You want to stay out of their easy reach.
- Trust your instincts. Does the driver seem hostile or spaced out? Is their driving erratic and aggressive? End the ride early and get out. You have no idea what’s going on with them and you need to forgo politeness in favor of safety at all times.
Despite your best precautions, a driver may still lose their cool and attack you for some reason. If so, find out more about your legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses.