Following incidents of assault and other crimes involving ridesharing services, women may worry about staying safe. While ridesharing has become safer over the years, there are ways women can remain safe on the road and exercise caution when using ridesharing services.
The following are tips to help women stay safer when using rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft.
1. Asking the Driver to Say the Passenger’s Name
Riders shouldn’t rely on a Lyft or Uber sticker to indicate whether a driver is the one assigned to them.
If a vehicle pulls up that appears to be the customer’s ride, it’s important to ask the driver to repeat the name of the passenger. Drivers should always know the names of their passengers, along with the desired destination, before picking up the customer. In addition to asking the driver to repeat their name, customers should double-check the vehicle make, model, and license plate to ensure it matches the information in the app. A driver photo should be available to match to the driver who pulls up.
2. Finding a Safe Place to Wait
After ordering a ride and while waiting, it’s best to stay indoors with other people nearby until the ride arrives. Ridesharing apps will give customers ample time to walk to the vehicle once it arrives, which means the driver is likely to stay in place until the customer makes it to the vehicle.
3. Sitting in the Back Passenger-Side Seat
The safest place to sit in a rideshare vehicle is in the back on the passenger side. It’s safer to both enter and exit the vehicle from this side of the car. Sitting diagonally from the driver allows passengers to keep an eye on the driver while maintaining a safe physical distance.
4. Practicing Caution When Giving Information
When ordering ridesharing services, customers never need to provide any personal information beyond their first name. If a driver requests details such as last names or social media profile details, passengers should never provide them.
In addition, passengers who live alone may want to consider requesting a nearby dropoff location that’s different from their home address.
5. Reporting Odd Behavior
If a driver exhibits strange or otherwise concerning behavior, passengers should report the driver and include details. Reports will keep customers anonymous while helping to keep other riders safe in the future.
6. Always Having an Exit Plan
Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to know where available exits are and how to use them if needed. Whether involved in a rideshare accident or threatened by a driver, customers can identify exits and door mechanisms to make a getaway easier. Sitting in the back gives passengers two points of exit that the driver won’t be able to easily reach. With these tips in mind, women can stay consistently safe when using ridesharing services. If a passenger is worried about being assaulted by a rideshare driver or being victimized in another way, safety practices can help to provide a sense of security.