There’s no denying that rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft have changed how we think about transportation. We love the fact that we can use a smartphone app to arrange a ride rather than having to hope that we can find and hail a cab. We know that the driver knows exactly where our destination is, so there’s no concern that the cab driver will get you halfway there and then decide they’re no longer interested in transporting you. We especially love the fact that we know exactly how much the trip will cost when we book it.
Most of us are so accustomed to using rideshare programs that we seldom think about the potential danger connected to each drive or the steps we should take to stay safe.
The biggest source of danger connected to rideshare programs doesn’t come from those who are involved in the program but rather from individuals who are willing to take advantage of a crime of opportunity. There are countless horror stories from people who thought they were getting into a rideshare vehicle only to get assaulted, robbed, or worse, when they got into the wrong vehicle.
Being observant is the single best way to make sure that you’re not a victim of rideshare mistaken identity. Pay careful attention to all the details you receive from the rideshare app and make sure that they match the vehicle you’re about to climb into. If anything is even slightly amiss, immediately leave the area, get somewhere safe, and contact the authorities.
Speaking of waiting for a rideshare vehicle. Be mindful of where you’re catching your ride. Whenever possible, wait inside a building rather than on the side of the street. If you’re unable to stay inside, wait in a well-lit area that has several other people in the same place.
While reports about problem drivers aren’t common, every once in a while, a passenger will report their driver. The simple truth is that you shouldn’t trust anyone. When you’re riding by yourself, sit in the back seat, which puts some space between you and the driver. You shouldn’t bring any valuables with you, and while it’s polite to have a conversation with the driver, make sure you don’t provide them with any personal information about yourself.
Whenever you’re using a rideshare program, let a trusted family member or friend know where you’re going, what rideshare program you’re using, and when you expect to arrive. Once you’ve reached your destination, contact the person and let them know that you’re safe.