Every day, millions of people hop into a strangers vehicle after requesting a ride via an app and they don’t think twice about it. Most of the time, there are no issues with Uber or Lyft service. They provide quick, convenient and affordable transportation, but the case of South Carolina college student Samantha Josephson reminds us that things can go terribly wrong.
So before you get into an Uber or Lyft, follow these tips to keep yourself safe.
- Wait inside for your ride- Don’t stand outside alone with your phone in your hand.
- Pay attention to the vehicle- Compare the make and model of the car and the license plate number to the one listed on the app.
- Look for the logo- Uber drivers all have a sticker in the front window, and Lyft a glowing light. In some areas, Uber is now using a glowing sign it calls a "beacon" and it glows in a color the passenger chooses, so they’ll know exactly which vehicle is the one they ordered. Beware: Anyone can order dashboard LED lights that say “Uber” or “Lyft,” so don’t trust those. And Uber rides can only be requested through the app, so don’t get into a car with a driver who says they’re with Uber and offers you a ride.
- Sit in the backseat- Gives you personal space and will allow you to get out safely on either side.
- Let a friend know- While you’re on the way, tap “share status” in the app to share your driver’s info with a loved one so they can track your trip and see your ETA.