How to Safely Use Uber and Lyft

Ride-hailing apps have been one of the biggest innovations of this decade. Applications like Uber and Lyft have transformed people’s lives. Not only have they aided in giving people a little extra cash, but they have also created a convenient way to prevent people from driving while intoxicated.

While Uber and Lyft are extremely convenient, the applications are still fairly new and could use some work. Many people are taking extra precautions after the kidnap and murder of University of South Carolina student, Samantha Josephson. She got into a car that she believed to be her Uber and when she realized it was not, it was too late.

This sparked a lot of commotion on how to make these ride-hailing apps safer. There are basic questions riders need to make sure they are answering as well. Riders should always ask the following: How can I get out? Can I unlock the door? Can I jump out safely if I needed to? Do I have someone on speed dial?

After the incident with Josephson. Law enforcement has been encouraging riders to always ask the name of their driver in addition to ensuring that the child locks on the car are off. This can be done by checking the door right before you get in the car. Additionally, a person should always check the license plate number to make sure the car make matches as well. It is encouraged for those taking ride-hailing apps home to not use their home address, rather use one across the street or very close by.

The chilling fact of the matter is this is not the first time there have been issues with the safety of Uber and Lyft. In recent years, there have been many sexual assault allegations associated with Uber and Lyft drivers. Uber said in a written statement that in coming weeks it will “launch a social media campaign, buy ads in college newspapers and begin sending push notifications during pickup to remind passengers about safety steps”.  The company has also introduced a 911 button.

Lyft and Uber also have pictures of their drivers to provide passengers an idea of what their driver looks like. Some Lyft vehicles have provided a light on their dashboards that match their passengers light on their phone. Josephson’s death has prompted lawmakers in South Carolina to introduce a bill that requires all Uber and Lyft drivers to have illuminated signs and has encouraged Uber and Lyft users to consider taking precautions to ensure their safety. 

Find additional information on how to stay safe while using Uber and Lyft here.