Uber. Lyft. Ridesharing is going to be big business this year, and we can see why. They’re quick, they’re comfortable, they’re cheap and if used correctly, safe. If you are traveling around a new city, it’s a great way to get about and see it like a local – get a good driver, and you might even find out about some of the hidden gems the city has to offer.
However, like all methods of public transport, it is important to be aware and take a few precautions to keep yourself safe, and here, we are going to look at a few of the things you can do.
1) Let someone else know where you are It’s always a good idea to let someone else – a relative or a friend – know where you are anyway, but especially if you are using a taxi or a ride-sharing company. Before you hop into the car, take a quick photo of the license plate and text them the name of your driver and the make of the vehicle.
No decent driver will mind you doing this. If you are using Lyft or Uber, there is an option on the app to share your location or journey, and whoever you send it to can follow your trip and make sure you arrive at your destination safely.
2) Be careful of what you share It’s great to have a chat with your driver, especially if you are not from the area and are looking for hints and tips, or want to find out new places to visit, but just be aware of how much personal information you are giving out.
They don’t need to know your full name, address or phone number, or how long you are staying or whether you are staying alone. Keep conversation neutral and friendly, and you will be fine.
3) Check details before you get in Unfortunately, there are some scammers out there parading around as drivers. Before you get into the car, confirm it is your driver, and it matches the details on the app. It is also important to ask them for the name they are expecting, rather than giving them your name first.
4) Belt up
Part of Uber’s feedback on passengers is based on whether they wear a seatbelt. Not only that, it can prevent you from being seriously injured in an accident. If you were involved in a crash, you might need to seek advice on a ride sharing accident claim.
5 Give them feedback Ok, so in the short term this isn’t going to do anything, but if you have a good driver, give them good feedback. If you have a bad one, give them bad feedback. It will get them off the roads – especially as Uber is rumored to get rid of drivers if their feedback drops below a certain point.
6) Keep an eye on your surroundings This is easier said than done if you are in a new area, but do your research, particularly if you are traveling at night. Look at what businesses and stores are open along the route. Follow your journey on your own map or GPS app so that you know that your driver is going in the right direction and not taking any dodgy side roads.