Uber completely changed the way many of us commute. At the simple touch of a button on your smartphone, you can schedule a car to take you to your destination within minutes. However, having a stranger driving you around can have its dangers. In 2018, the rideshare company disclosed that 3,045 sexual assaults and nine murders occurred during Uber rides that year. Though this is just a small percentage out of billions of yearly Uber rides, it’s always vital to take precautions.
These are our four tips to help ensure your safety with every ride you take.
1. Always confirm the driver’s license plate and name
When you call an Uber, the app provides a picture of the driver, his/her name, car details, and license plate number. Before stepping foot in the car, be sure to confirm the driver and car match all the information on the Uber app. This is the best way to ensure you don’t get in the wrong car with an unknown driver.
2. Sit in the back seat
When possible, sit in the back seat. Uber recommends sitting behind the passenger seat. This is beneficial for three reasons: it gives you a good view of the driver, it puts the most space between you and the driver, and you’re right next to the door to exit in case of emergency.
3. Be alert
It’s easy to get distracted on your phone while sitting in an Uber and not pay attention to where the driver is going. You should always be watching your surroundings and following the route on the Uber app to make sure the driver is staying on track and going the right way — especially if you are in a place or city you’re not familiar with.
4. Never say you’re alone
Somebody who is alone is an easy target. If you are alone and your driver asks where you are going, say something like, “My parents are waiting for me at the house” or “My friends are expecting me at this restaurant.” You can also make a phone call to let someone know you are on your way in an Uber. Additionally, temporarily share your location with a friend or loved one, and when you call them, say, “I’ve shared my location with you so you can see when I’ll arrive.” This will let the driver know you are not alone, people are expecting you somewhere, and can see your location.
Over the years, Uber has added safety features to the app such as trip-sharing and background checks for drivers. The majority of Uber rides and drivers are safe and reliable, but being alert and taking extra precautions can help prevent the rare occasion of crime.
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