Ride Share Service Precautions

On March 29th, a tragic event occurred that changed how cautious people are with rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. Samantha Josephson, a University of South Carolina student about to finish up her senior year had ordered an uber to come pick her up at a bar in which she got into the wrong car, and the next day, was found over 60 miles away dead.

The event has started a movement called #What’sMyName to promote caution before entering a ride share car by asking “What’s my name?” to the driver, as well as promoting to be proud of who you are.

It’s understandable that after a fun night out, the last thing on your mind might be to ask your designated driver what your name is; however, Samantha was alone, and had no idea of what her driver was capable of, and neither are we when we are in a situation similar to Samantha’s. It’s unfortunate that there are people who are capable of what Samantha’s driver did that night, so the best thing we can do is take caution.

Here are some precaution tips when you are likely to use a ride share service, and let’s follow these tips for Samantha Josephson.

1. Ride with a friend or someone you trust if possible

One thing that could have made things different for Samantha is if she had planned to uber with a friend that night. A friend or someone you trust could be the person who remember to checked the license plate and ask the uber when you forget to, or they could at least help outnumber you two from the designated driver.

2. Order your service car inside

If you order the car outside, it’s easy for people to assume that you are waiting for a rideshare vehicle. We don’t want to put ourselves in situations where strangers know the situation we are in, so stay inside until the rideshare app tells you your driver has arrived.

3. ALWAYS check the license plate number and the model of the car

Uber and Lyft apps tell you the name of the driver, show what they look like, tell you the model of the car (with a picture), and the license plate number. Especially if you have to use the service alone, this should be a mandatory practice for everyone as you want the person that is supposed to drive you to take you where you need to be.

 

 

4. Verify the driver

Don’t be afraid to ask. Whether it’s asking the driver, “What’s my name?” or “This ride is for..?” it’s not rude at all to make sure. Even if it’s another rideshare driver that isn’t for you, he/she is not meant to drive you anyways so don’t get in the car unless the car is meant for you.

5. Sit in the backseat

This will give personal space between you and the driver. If the driver asks you anything in which you feel uncomfortable sharing, it’s your right to keep it to yourself. Plus, if you are with friends, you tend to have more fun all together in the back seats.

 

 

6. Download safety apps

There apps such as SafeTrek that will help you if you may feel that you are in an uncomfortable situation with your driver. SafeTrek includes a feature that lets you hold down a button until when you’re safe when you enter your designated PIN number. If you let go of a button without entering your PIN number, the app will assume you are in a bad situation and notify the police and authorities immediately.

 

7. Give the feedback they deserve

After a ride, the rideshare app may ask you for feedback. It may seem trivial to do so, but it can actually go a long way; if you felt uncomfortable by the driver and you give feedback about it, this could prevent a bad situation in the future. If you had a great ride where the driver was very kind to you or made the ride fun, give that feedback as well because he/she deserves it.