Use these 7 safety rules for ride share services.
The murder of University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson continues to make national news, as people across the country both morn Josephson’s death and awaken to the reality that ride share services require riders to be prudent and cautious before entering a vehicle driven by a stranger. This tragedy could have been prevented. It’s that simple.
Below are 7 rules for safely utilizing ride share services:
- Hail ride share in privacy: Avoid loud and/or public displays that you are utilizing an app to hail a ride share service. Otherwise, you could become a target of several individuals coordinating a scam.
- Map your route prior to the ride share service arrival: Ensure you are taking a route that corresponds to one of the fastest routes shown on your mapping app. You might even suggest a route to the driver, or ask which of two routes he/she is planning on taking.
- Text a friend or trusted ally prior to entering a ride share service: When texting include details such as, location, destination, driver’s name, make/model of the vehicle, and license plate (as shown on your app). Tell the driver you’ve done this as politely as you can.
- Wait inside for the ride: Passing drivers notice people gazing at their cell phones in the ride share area of most airports and may pull into the area to explore who might get into the vehicle. Don’t show visible and obvious signs that you are waiting for a ride share vehicle.
- Confirm the information on your app matches: Check license plate details and ask the driver for the name of the person he/she is picking up. The driver must know your name.
- Never share details about your destination with the driver: Ride share apps encrypt your personal details for a reason. All payments and tips can be completed through ride share apps – there’s no need to flash cash.
- Ride in the back seat: Driver’s have less access to your physical body if you sit in the back seat. Additionally, the back seat allows the rider the opportunity to observe the driver AND offers the rider an exit on either side of the vehicle if escape is necessary.
As a general rule, don’t assume anything, verify details prior to entering a vehicle, and utilize common sense (and get trained with Krav Maga to defend yourself!). A familiar, helpful app on your phone doesn’t ensure a helpful, friendly ally – it’s your responsibility to secure your personal safety.
Before I enter an Uber or taxi. I snap a phone photo and text it to my husband. As I enter thr vehicle, I call him (so the driver can hear) and alert him that I’m in the vehicle and confirm he will hear from me when I arrive.