Rideshares have become a popular and convenient way to book a ride from your smartphone. But entering a stranger’s car could put you at risk. A 2018 CNN investigation revealed that at least 103 Uber drivers in the U.S. had been accused of assaulting or abusing passengers in the previous four years. Before ordering your next ride, read these safety tips.
Never Ride Alone While Intoxicated
If you’ve had too much to drink, ride with a passenger you trust.
Wait Inside for Your Ride
Request your ride and wait indoors for it to arrive. Standing outside while holding your phone could alert passing drivers that you’re waiting for a ride.
Confirm Your Ride’s Details
When your ride arrives, confirm that the car’s make, model, color and license plate and the driver’s name and identity match the app details. Uber and Lyft rides can only be requested through the apps, so never accept a ride that doesn’t match yours, even if the car has an Uber or Lyft emblem. Before entering the car, ask the driver who they are picking up. Never offer your name first.
Always wear your seatbelt to reduce injuries — or even save your life — in the event of an accident.
Track Your Route During the Ride
Use the GPS in your smartphone to map your trip, especially if you’re not familiar with the route to see if the driver is taking you off track.
Never Share Personal Information
Do not disclose your phone number, credit card or details of your personal life to your driver. The Uber app encrypts your phone number and credit card information, and masks your pickup and drop-off addresses in the driver’s trip history for security purposes.
Ride in the Backseat
If you’re the only passenger, ride in the backseat to provide personal space. This will also allow you to safely exit the car from either side to avoid traffic.
Share Your Trip Status
The Uber and Lyft apps let you share details about the driver, vehicle, destination and arrival time with contacts in your smartphone, so they can track your trip. As an added precaution, you could also snap a picture of the license plate or take a screenshot of your trip details from the app, and then text it to loved ones.
Trust Your Gut
Don’t enter the car of a driver who makes you uncomfortable. Keep the windows down so you can yell for help if needed. If you are in immediate danger, try to safely exit the vehicle. Dial 911 directly from your phone, or use Uber’s Emergency Assistance Button to dial 911 from the app or Lyft’s Critical Response Line to connect to Lyft’s Safety Team.
Rate Your Trip
After your trip, you’ll be asked to provide feedback through the app. This alerts Uber and Lyft’s 24/7 response teams of any safety concerns or inappropriate conduct, potentially keeping future riders safe.