Rebecca Bernard
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Safety Tips For Riding in an Uber or Lyft

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Photo: Quote Catalogh

Earlier this month, a tweet from Twitter user and Lyft rider Tiffany D. Jackson went viral for all the right reasons. In the post, she laid out a discussion she had with her driver, who noticed her opening and closing the door after she got in the car. Turns out she was checking the door to see if the child locks were on, trapping her in the back seat. Other passengers started sharing the safety tip, and the discussion grew about how to protect yourself safe in a rideshare vehicle.

Whether you use services like Uber and Lyft regularly or only when you’re out of town, consider some of these other tips to stay safe on your ride.

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Check the license plates

Before you get in an arriving vehicle, Uber recommends making sure that the plates match what is on your app. If you happen to know about cars, also confirm that the plate is on the right make and model of vehicle. Not only will this help you avoid getting in someone else’s ride (or a non-rideshare vehicle), a plate on the wrong car can send the signal that you should not get in.

Make them say your name first

Twitter user sajé Ⓥ does more than confirm that the plates and car match – she makes drivers say her name first. That puts the pressure on the driver to confirm that they are using the app correctly for the ride and ensures they truly should be picking you up. Original poster Tiffany also makes the driver say the destination out loud as an additional check that nothing is fishy.

Use the account of a man you trust

I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man, so it pains me to write this, but consider using the name of a male spouse or loved one on your rideshare account. As Elizabeth Quinn points out in the original Twitter thread, it lets drivers know that someone is looking for you to come home – and knows the details of the ride to give to police. This tactic could also discourage creepy discussions about your relationship status.

Stay alert

This last tip might be difficult when you’re using a rideshare app to avoid a DUI ticket, but stay alert in the vehicle if possible. The official Uber site warns that you need to help protect yourself. If you see something suspicious, like a driver turning off the app or not following navigation instructions, use the emergency button in the apps to contact authorities. Sometimes that’s not possible, so make sure that you are ready to contact authorities outside of the app if needed.

Make some noise

If a ride is going horribly wrong and the driver won’t let you out or take you to your agreed destination, make some noise so that you draw attention to yourself, especially in well-populated areas. When you get out of the car, leave feedback on the app and report any issues to the company.

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When reporting a driver doesn’t work, which it often doesn’t, kick up a storm on social media. Several tweets and other social media posts have gone viral in recent months with riders sharing their horror stories. At the very least, it lets others know of bad things to look out for. At most, it can lead to real changes behind the scenes to prevent it from happening to someone else.

Sources: Twitter, Uber