15 ridesharing tips for travelers to immediately use today

These rideshare tips are ultimately each rider’s personal responsibility. It has to be each rider’s top priority.

Uber App on iPhoneRidesharing services over the last decade have become more and more popular for travelers for many reasons, not the least of which is that riders know how much the ride will cost before entering the rideshare vehicle. In many cities rideshare has supplanted taxi service as the top car public transportation method.

While it’s true that 99 percent of Uber and Lyft ridesharing rides end without incident, sometimes the rides end with dire consequences to riders.

Historically, according to the Uber U.S. Safety Report, in 2019 to 2020 there were a total of 20 fatalities from physical assaults and 3,824 sexual assaults altogether, reported in Uber trips. From 2017 to 2019, Lyft received ten reports of fatal physical assaults and over 1,000 sexual assaults. Since those reports, apparently neither Uber or Lyft have released additional statistics.

I have ridesharing accounts and know that when using them I have to take personal responsibility for my safety, despite the safety improvements instituted by the companies.

I have both Uber and Lyft accounts myself and have used each service frequently. In recent years, both services have promised users that they would increase their safety. In many ways they have fulfilled that promise, particular with app improvements.

In my opinion, when you use a ridesharing service anywhere in the world, even before you press the confirm button contracting for the ride, your safety has to be your top priority. Don’t take anything about your safety for granted. Take every measure you can to help ensure you arrive at your destination happy, healthy and ready to enjoy your time there.

I’ve got 15 ridesharing safety tips for you to use while using a ridesharing service anywhere in the world.

Get refunds in cash when airlines cancel your flightTry to not rideshare alone and stay indoors when requesting a ride. Stay there until your ride arrives.

• Request your ride from indoors and stay there:
Particularly at night, request rides via your smartphone from inside a building, if at all possible. Stay inside until your ride arrives. Avoid standing outside waiting for your ride, especially if you’re alone.

• Numbers add up to safety:
If you’re alone, but going to a destination that others you know are headed toward, see if you can share a ride with them. Using a rideshare with others in the vehicle is considerably safer than riding alone.

Check your driver’s rating, use app verification systems and confirm the full identity of your driver and vehicle before entering the car.

• Check the driver’s rating:
You want to ride with a driver that has a high rating and considerable rideshare driving experience.

• Use the pin/code verification service from the rideshare company:
If you’re using a rideshare service company that uses a pin/code verification service, don’t forget to use it. Before you get into the rideshare car, require your driver to enter the code, so you can have verification that this is the car you confirmed from your rideshare company.

• Confirm the car, license plate and driver:
When the rideshare car arrives, before you enter the vehicle, confirm the car, its license plate and the driver. If anything doesn’t match the information from the company, don’t get in the vehicle and report it to the company. Every once in a while, I’ve run into a situation where the driver isn’t as expected. The driver’s photo doesn’t match. The driver tells me he’s the regular driver’s brother, sister or cousin, so it’s okay.

It’s not okay! If the driver isn’t the one you expect, don’t get in the car and report the driver to the ridesharing company. I don’t recommend snapping a photo of the driver at that point as that might precipitate the driver getting out and attacking you. Just refuse to get in and go back inside where you were waiting.

• Have the driver tell you your name:
When you’re speaking with the driver, before you get into the car, have the driver tell you your name. They have it on their side of the ridesharing app. It’s another way to verify that you’re getting into the car you called to take you to your destination.

For your personal safety, sit in the back seat of the rideshare vehicle and buckle up.

• Sit in the back seat only:
Never sit in the front seat of a ridesharing vehicle, particularly if you’re alone. By sitting in the back seat you’ve increase your distance from the driver and made it harder for the driver to touch you in any way. It lessens the chance you and driver will have any physical contact. It also can aid you in getting out of the car quickly if you become uncomfortable about continuing the ride at any time.

• Wear a seatbelt:
The seatbelt is there to protect you in case of an accident. Wear it.

• Wear a mask if there is an outbreak or if your driver is exhibiting symptoms:
If health conditions return to an epidemic or pandemic again, seriously consider wearing a face mask in the rideshare vehicle, as you don’t know who was there last and you don’t know if the driver might be ill. If the driver is exhibiting respiratory symptoms of disease, consider wearing a face mask to protect yourself or better yet, refuse the ride and request another one.

• Share your ride information with a trusted friend or family member:
Upon accepting the ride, share your trip with a trusted friend or family member. Even if your rideshare app doesn’t have a built-in sharing method, share through a quick text message or email from your smartphone. Share your drive information and at the least include the license plate number of the vehicle to make tracing its location easy for the rideshare company.

• Tell your driver you’re sharing your trip details as you actually do it:
Don’t forget to mention to your driver that you’ve shared the trip details with friends and family.

Never divulge personal information to your driver and always be sure where the ride is located and be sure it’s headed to your destination.

• Keep your personal information confidential:
Many drivers are very personable and will engage you in conversation during the drive. Never reveal any personal information to them. Beyond your name, which they already have, keep your identification and other personal information private.

• Know your route and surroundings even in an unfamiliar location:
You want to know where you are and exactly how you’re headed to your destination at all times to ensure your safety. I always keep my Google Map app showing me the drive until I reach my destination, if I’m unfamiliar with where I am.

• Never pay cash:
Never pay a tip with cash. Pay it through the app. Taking out your wallet puts you at a higher risk of theft than you would otherwise have.

Trust yourself about the ride and don’t take it if you’re apprehensive about it. Get out of the vehicle when it’s safe if you become uncomfortable during your ride.

• Trust your street smarts and use your common sense:
Join UsIf something about your rideshare doesn’t feel right before you begin, don’t get into the vehicle. Tell the driver you’ve changed your mind and quickly walk away, to an inside location, if possible. If something doesn’t feel right while in the vehicle, the moment you can safely depart, get out of the vehicle and head for a safe place.

Using these 15 rideshare tips can make a major difference in keeping you safe during your next trip. Use them.

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