Rideshare services like Lyft and Uber are an essential mode of transportation these days. In larger metropolitan areas, traditional cab services have even implemented similar app services, like Curb, to stay competitive in the market.
While these rideshare services are highly convenient, their safety often comes into question, especially if you’re riding alone, at night. So, to help provide you with a little more peace of mind on your next Uber or Lyft ride, here are our best safety tips for a safer rideshare experience.
1. Call your ride from a safe place
Request a ride from indoors to avoid lingering outside alone with your phone in your hand, making yourself vulnerable to potential threats. If you do have to call a car while waiting outside, avoid looking down at your phone the entire time. Call the ride and check the driver’s location every few minutes rather than constantly checking the tracker.
If you know you’ll have to wait outside, carry a personal alarm with you like the 2-in-1 Personal Alarm with LED Light. The ear-piercing sound this device makes will help call attention to yourself if you feel unsafe, plus the built-in light can help you see in the dark.
2. Make sure your rideshare driver is who they say they are
Before you get in the car, confirm that the license place, make and model of the car, and the driver’s photo match your assigned ride. Have the driver confirm your name as an extra precaution by asking, “Who are you here for?” rather than asking if they are there for you and volunteering your name.
Image: Uriel Mont | Pexels
3. Share your location
Let someone know your plans and where you’re going. Uber and Lyft also have features that let you share your trip with someone, and then they can track your ride through the app, too.
Can’t share your location? No problem. SABRE’s Personal Safety App (which connects to SABRE’s SMART Pepper Spray and is free to download) lets you notify a friend or family member that you need help. SMART pepper spray is an added layer of protection that when sprayed automatically sends an alert to your selected contacts with your exact location. You can also send an alert through the app without spraying the pepper spray.
4. Carry pepper spray for added safety
The 3-in-1 Safe Escape Automotive Safety Tool combines maximum-strength pepper gel with a seatbelt cutter and a window glass breaker, so you have a way to protect yourself and escape if needed. Pepper gel is also safer to use indoors and in close quarters and only affects what it directly contacts.
Mighty Discreet is 40% smaller than traditional pepper sprays making it easy to carry in virtually any purse or small bag. The small size doesn’t compromise its power. It contains SABRE’s maximum-strength formula and 16 bursts for use against multiple threats.
5. Keep your address secure
When you use a rideshare to get home, if possible, set your destination to a nearby safe place or a door or two down from where you live, to keep your address unknown to the driver. You can also wait until they’ve pulled away to go inside to ensure they’ve left.
6. Rate your driver
This step is often overlooked. By rating drivers and providing feedback, you help keep good drivers on the road and dangerous ones off the road. If you experience a bad ride or if your driver makes you feel unsafe, don’t be afraid to leave a poor rating or report them through the app. At the end of the day, this person is a stranger who you will most likely never see again. Leaving honest reviews and reporting odd, creepy, or aggressive drivers will help keep everyone safer in the long run.
7. Call for help
Both Uber and Lyft have emergency assistance buttons that let you call 911 directly from the app if something goes wrong or you feel unsafe.
8. Follow along on your map
Tracking your ride on your map outside the rideshare app adds an extra level of security in knowing the driver is following the correct route, especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area. Open your map app, enter your destination, and follow along, recognizing any weird turns that seem off course.
Image: Tima Miroshnichenko | Pexels
9. Be a backseat rider
Always try to sit in the backseat, on the passenger side, if possible, especially if you are riding alone. This way you have an exit on either side, and there is more distance between you and the driver.
10. Ride with a friend whenever possible
There is strength in numbers, so riding with a friend or a group is the best safety choice—plus you can split the cost. If you’re going to a destination alone but would prefer to have someone else in the car, you can also utilize features like UberX Share to include another rider on your trip.
Featured Image: Viktor Avdeev | Unsplash