The use of ridesharing services has grown significantly over the past few years, as millions of people can now access services like Uber and Lyft, thanks to their mobile devices.
Regardless of where you’re going or how you get there, the most important thing is your safety.
Read through the following tips to help make sure you stay safe during every ride.
Wait inside for your ride
Even if it’s nice outside, request and wait for your ride indoors. Standing outside looking at your phone could make you a target for fake drivers. Don’t head out to meet your driver until the app alerts you that they’ve arrived.
Share your ride
Depending where you live, the carpool option enables you to ride with others. If you prefer not to ride with strangers, you can share your ride with friends, or request multiple stops to pick up and drop off people you know along the way.
Follow your trip
Once in your ride, share your journey via the app, which others can follow in real time. You can also call or text someone to let them know you’re on your way and when you expect to arrive.
Increase personal safety
In addition to sharing your journey with others, you can take additional safety precautions, like smartphone apps designed to alert help in case of an emergency, or devices with a security camera function or panic button.
Look out for your friends
Confirm the car
As soon as you’re paired with a driver, you can see their name, license plate, make and model of their car, as well as their rating. Never get into a car without confirming as many of these details as possible.
Even after getting into the car you confirmed on your app, ask the driver to confirm who they’re picking up. You should also ask for their name and make sure their face matches the one on the app.
Take the backseat
Sitting in the back-passenger seat lets you see your driver, their phone and the road, and gives you easy access to an exit.
Buckle your seat belt
This goes without saying, no matter what vehicle you’re in, so help yourself avoid injuries by buckling up.
Be aware of your surroundings
When getting in and out of the car, look for cars, bicycles and other people. Once in the car, follow along with the rideshare GPS on your phone or keep your preferred map app open to make sure you’re taking the most efficient route in the right direction.
Let your driver know you prefer they not talk on the phone or focus too much on the radio. Likewise, be a good passenger, don’t be distracting, and never ask them to put themselves or others in harm’s way.
Don’t pay with cash
Rideshare apps accept payment via credit card, PayPal or money deposited into the app, but will never require you to pay cash.
Rate your driver
Leaving feedback about your experience with your driver is invaluable, for better or worse. Not only will others see the quality of ride they can expect with that driver, but ridesharing apps typically won’t pair you again with a driver that you give a low rating. If anything happens that makes you feel unsafe, from reckless driving to unsavory comments, report it.
Never share personal information
Whether you prefer to stay silent or talk with the driver, avoid sharing overly personal information.
Follow your intuition
If your driver’s behavior makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, or if something doesn’t feel right, trust your intuition. Ask them to end the ride, as long as you’re somewhere you can exit safely. If need be, call 911 to report your emergency.