Every day, millions of people hop into an Uber or Lyft to get around and they don’t think twice about it. Most of the time, there are no issues and the ride-hailing services provide quick, convenient and affordable transportation, but the case of South Carolina college student Samantha Josephson reminds us that things can go terribly wrong. She was recently killed after getting into a car she thought was an Uber and her story has prompted a rideshare safety campaign. 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 any longer than you have to.
- 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 at the driver photo and name and make sure it matches the info on the app as well.
- Look for the beacon- 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.
- Use caution- 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.
- Don't share too much info -You don’t need to give your phone number or contact info to your driver.
- Trust your instincts -Use your best judgment and if you feel like you’re in an emergency situation, call 911.
- Before you get in -Ask the driver who they’re picking up. The app gives the driver the passenger’s name, so they should be able to tell you.
- Call it in- If you’re in a situation that you feel threatens your personal safety, first call the authorities and thenreport the problem to Lyft.
- Leave the gun at home- Lyft doesn’t let drivers or riders carry weapons, even where it’s legal to, so don’t bring it.
- Rate your driver- If you rate someone three stars or below, you’ll never be matched with them again.