Back in the day, you would have never dreamed of getting into a car with a complete stranger. These days, it’s a common occurrence and most people don’t think twice about it. With the increase in Ride share companies, comes an increase in attacks. Now you hear news stories of drivers pretending to be someone they are not and attacking those they pick up. Uber and Lyft are very convenient and we shouldn’t have to avoid them because of fear. But there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and stay safe.
Here are some tips you can use when using Uber and Lyft:
-Always make sure the description of the driver on the app matches the description of the person picking you up. You can check their photo, make and model of car, and even license plate number to make sure they match. If they don’t match, don’t get in the car.
-Ask the driver who they are picking up before they are getting in the car and make sure they say your name.
-Check the driver’s reviews before you get in the car and pay attention to bad reviews.
-You can utilize the tracking feature that both apps have if you feel the need. You can share your location with a trusted family or friend so they know where you are, especially if you are traveling alone. On Uber, it says “Share Status” and on Lyft it says “Send ETA”.
-If you are going home, don’t put in your home address. Put in a nearby location and never have them drop you off right in front of your house.
-Pay attention when you are in the car and make sure the driver is following the GPS to your location. Follow along with your own GPS to make sure they aren’t going somewhere else, especially if you aren’t familiar with the area. Don’t be distracted and give the driver and opportunity to something dangerous.
-Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right to you or makes you uncomfortable, wait for another ride or ask to get out of the vehicle.
Some experts say you should sit in the back seat so you have more time to prepare for an attack and can see the driver clearer. This is true, BUT sitting in the back seat puts you at risk because the driver could activate the child safety lock and keep you locked in the vehicle. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide where you feel the safest in the vehicle.
-Take some self defense training! This is the best way to prepare yourself. Train your body and your mind to react and keep yourself safe. Watch the video below for two ways to escape an attack from a driver.