Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft are becoming a staple in our lives. The convenience that it presents as well as the fact that we no longer need to be stuck for hours in traffic, makes it a lucrative and working business model, with millions of active users a day.
But, at the end of the day, the fact remains that the person that you will be hailing is, ultimately, a stranger. As much as Uber and Lyft have put safety measures and methods of driver identification in place, the efforts just don’t cut it.
The murder of Samantha Josephson, a South Carolina college student who mistook her murderer’s car for an Uber, made headlines and was proof enough that Uber rides are not always as safe as they are made out to be. Nevertheless, there are some steps that we can take, as users, to be doubly certain that our Uber ride will be a safe and smooth sailing journey.
#1 Inform Someone
Before getting into the backseat off your Uber, always send a screenshot of your driver’s details that are displayed on the app as well as their car’s license plates, to someone that you can trust. Give them a ring or text them your location as well as where you will be heading to. This makes it easier for someone to come to your aid, should something go awry during your ride and to inform the police of your possible whereabouts, in order for the authorities to be able to carry out a more accurate search for you.
#2 Get the Right Car
There have been numerous, funny accounts of how people have gotten into the wrong car, mistaking it for their Uber driver’s. Surely, you may have done so a couple of times yourself. Despite our encounters being laughable, honest mistakes, the same can’t be applied for every case. There have been multiple reports of kidnapping and even murder associated with cases of people getting into the wrong car, thinking that it’s their ride. Always check the license plates and try to match your driver’s face with that displayed on your app, to be on the safe side, always.
#3 Safety Tools
When getting into a car with an unknown person, it would be best to always have your self-defense tools with you. A simple pepper spray, easily obtained at many major supermarkets, can disorient your attacker for quite some time, giving you a window to make a getaway. Invest also in a personal alarm key that would be able to immediately alert the police or someone that you trust, the moment you press the panic button on it. Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay also have options of a safety bat that you can carry in your purse, for emergency situations.
Ride-hailing apps have indeed made our lives significantly easier and the convenience that it presents makes it a good option for people who don’t drive or don’t fancy being caught up behind a huge lineup of cars. The built-in safety features like the ride tracker, driver information and such are valuable to keep both driver and rider safe, alongside other safety measures that have been advised for driver and rider to practice.
Even then, the stranger danger with Uber or Lyft is definitely real and the best way to go about it, is to take additional steps to prevent yourself from being a victim of such sinister rides. If you suspect that your Uber driver is shady or you find any evidence in their car, indicating that they may be involved in criminal activity, our people search lookup would be able to give you all the details that you need.