Most Uber and Lyft rides happen without incident. Uber alone provided 14 million trips per day worldwide in 2018, according to their website. But when something does go wrong, it makes local and national headlines. While we here at The Dominguez Firm certainly wish you a safe rideshare journey, there are certain precautions every person should take before getting into an Uber or Lyft vehicle.
Below we’ve outlined some important safety tips to keep in mind when it comes to rideshares.
Always make sure the license plate number of the car that is picking you up matches the license plate number provided by your Uber or Lyft App.
Never rely solely on the make and model of the vehicle to identify it. There are lots of Priuses and Civics on the road. The only safe way to differentiate the car that’s picking you up from a stranger’s car is by comparing license plate numbers.
If the car that shows up doesn’t match what’s on your app but the driver does, you should cancel the ride. It could be something as innocent as their car being in the shop, but it’s best to be careful. Besides, Uber and Lyft don’t allow drivers to switch out cars. They are supposed to pick you up in the car that’s registered with the rideshare company.
Don’t share personal information with your Uber or Lyft driver.
There is no reason for your driver to know your full name, address or any other personal information. Both Uber and Lyft use technology that keeps your personal details safe. Even if you need to call your driver before they arrive, your number is hidden. Drivers can take your call, but they can’t see your actual phone number.
And if you’re on your way home, it’s best not to let the driver know that. You don’t want a total stranger knowing where you live. If it’s safe, you may want to give an address a block or two away from your actual address. That’s especially true if your driver is asking lots of questions or behaving in any manner that makes you uncomfortable.
Unusual behavior should always be reported to Lyft or Uber immediately. The same driver who made you feel uncomfortable may pose a danger to another passenger in the future. Do your part to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Best place to sit? In the back seat, on the passenger side.
If you’re the only passenger, the back seat on the passenger side is best. You have access to both doors if needed. Plus, you really shouldn’t sit directly behind the driver in an empty car. Be aware of their safety and comfort too. Would you want a stranger sitting directly behind you in a car?
While neither Uber nor Lyft has rules about seating arrangements, most passengers don’t sit in the front. It’s a personal preference. However, if anything seems “off”, you have every right to cancel the ride. Examples include drivers asking that you sit in the front seat when there are no other passengers or the driver having a friend in the car with them—which goes against both Uber and Lyft driver policies. Remember, offending the driver is not your top concern, your safety is.
Let friends and/or family know where you are.
Uber and Lyft both allow users to share their trip information with their friends and family. This adds an added layer of protection as your loved ones can see where you are and even keep tabs on your trip in real time.
If your instinct is telling you that something is wrong with your ride, don’t hesitate to get out.
It may sound like a cliché but trust your gut. Whether it’s because of the driver or another passenger during a shared ride, if something doesn’t feel right, you can end your ride at any time. If you’re afraid that asking to be let out will escalate the situation, you can add a stop near your current location and get out there.
Do your part to promote safety.
Always get in and out of your rideshare vehicle only when it’s safe to do so and at the curb. Check for pedestrians, cyclists and scooters before you open the door. And don’t ask drivers to perform unsafe and/or illegal moves to get somewhere quicker.
Lyft and Uber have revolutionized transportation. They provide users with millions of safe rides a day. But if you’re involved in an accident with a rideshare vehicle, know that The Dominguez Firm is here to help you. Our experienced rideshare accident attorneys know how to handle every aspect of a complex rideshare accident claim. Call us today for a free consultation at 800-818-1818. And rest assured, you incur no out of pocket expenses or upfront fees. With The Dominguez Firm, you don’t pay unless we win, so call us today!