BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Rideshare apps are convenient and generally safe for users.
But there are reasons for users to be cautious and take safety precautions when using such apps.
During 2020, Uber, which is one of the most popular rideshare companies in the U.S., reportedly received over 3,824 reports of sexual assault and misconduct.
With this in mind, listed below are six safety tips riders might want to keep in mind when using Uber, Lyft, or other ridesharing apps.
#1 Call and wait for your driver inside
To avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time waiting outside alone, give your driver a call to let them know you’ll be waiting inside until the app shows they’re near, and then wait inside a safe and populated location until their arrival.
#2 Confirm the name of the driver and make of the vehicle
Most rideshare apps will provide you with the driver’s name, picture, and vehicle description.
So, before getting into the car, check that the driver’s picture and vehicle description are a match with what’s on your app and specifically ask the driver the driver, “Who are you here for?”
#3 Make sure you’re comfortable with the driver’s rating
If your app shows that a potential driver has a low rating, it may be in your best interest to cancel the ride and call for another.
#4 Share your trip details with loved ones
Uber suggests, “While en route, tap Share trip status in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They will receive a text or push notification that tracks your trip and ETA.”
Even if you’re not using Uber, you can program your phone to share your location with your partner, friends, or family. Or simply send them a text to let them know where you are.
#5 Ride in the backseat if you’re alone
If at all possible, sit in the backseat as this ensures you can safely leave the vehicle if need be. It also gives both you and the driver personal space.
#6 Call 911 if you sense danger
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so when it seems that your personal safety is at risk, experts recommend calling 911 and if possible, getting out of the vehicle and going to the nearest open business or public area.
If none of the above is possible, you can make some sort of commotion, such as yelling or blowing a whistle, to attract attention and ask for help.
Click here for additional tips on how to be safe when using rideshare apps.