A third of Americans use ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft. While a number of people use such services as a cheap alternative to taxis or just for convenience, many choose to use them because they’re supposedly safer. However, recent news might prove that there are risks involved after all. Here’s what you should be watching out for to stay safe – no matter where you’re headed.
The risks involved
Many people rely on rideshare services to get them to and from places safely, but this might not be the case 100% of the time. Uber and other ride-sharing companies generally have policies in place to screen drivers before they’re hired, but this hasn’t stopped crimes from happening. In fact, one study on the popular rideshare company Uber shows that 99.9% of rides are safe, though more than 3,045 people were sexually assaulted during rides in 2018, in addition to nine murders and 58 car crash fatalities. Although the majority of rides are safe, there are several potential risks involved when using any rideshare service.
In addition to drivers with malicious intent, there’s also the possibility that your driver may not be a driver at all, and there have been cases of people posing as drivers. Even if your driver is a genuine employee of the rideshare company, there’s always the slim chance that he or she could have criminal intentions. And, as with any car on the road, there’s the possibility of getting into an accident – whether it be the fault of your driver or another driver on the road – and such a situation can lead to physical injury and even mental trauma. However, there are several simple things you can do to stay safe.
One of the best things you can do to keep yourself safe when using a rideshare company is to verify the car and driver before you get in, and to meet the driver in a public place. It’s also important to refrain from giving your driver any personal information, but asking your driver the question, “What’s my name?” can go a long way in ensuring your safety. Part of the #whatsmyname safety campaign, asking the simple question can be an easy way to determine if the driver is in fact your driver – and not someone posing to be. Never riding alone is another simple way to stay safe (especially after dark), and companies such as Uber offer a trip sharing feature, so not only will you feel safer, but you can also split the cost of the ride. And, if you feel unsafe during a ride, don’t hesitate to call the police – some companies like Uber have an emergency tab within the app that allows you to be connected with the authorities.
After the ride
While the chances of something dangerous happening to you are slim, car accidents do happen – in fact, an average of 6 million accidents occur each year in the United States. If you or a loved one are ever involved in an Uber accident or any other rideshare accident, taking legal action may be your next step – especially if you got hurt or injured in any way. Pursuing legal action against the company and/or driver can be a step forward in getting the compensation and justice you need. On the other hand, if you take a trip with a company and the ride just didn’t feel right, or if you felt uncomfortable in any way, it’s very important to take control of the situation by reporting the driver after the ride.
Uber and other rideshare companies make it extremely easy to get a cost-effective ride anywhere you need to go. However, there are some safety risks involved. Staying safe by riding with friends and verifying the driver and car before you get in are just a couple of things that can help you stay safe.
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