Using a ride-sharing service to get home after a wild night out is, of course, far safer than driving yourself. However, it still presents its own potential dangers, which you should prepare for when ordering your ride.
As long as you understand the steps you need to take to stay safe, you shouldn’t have to worry too much. Consider these nine tips for using ride-sharing services in any situation safely and comfortably.
1. Prepare for the Ride
Before the car arrives, be sure to look over the profile of your assigned driver. Take note of their face, car, reviews, and license plate number so you can identify them when they arrive.
Finally, make sure you’re prepared for anything, including accidents, by being aware of Uber or Lyft accident attorneys beforehand. This way, you’ll have a qualified expert to contact if you suffer an accident while riding in the car or get hit by it.
2. Confirm You’re Getting Into the Right Car
From the driver’s profile, you now know the exact vehicle make and model, the driver’s face, and the license plate number of the car. That final piece of data should be your chief focus. License plates are always unique, while red Toyota Camrys, say, are a dime a dozen.
When you believe your driver has arrived, ask them for your and their name before offering this information yourself. If they know both names, you can be fully assured this is the vehicle you’re looking for.
3. Situate Yourself Safely in the Vehicle
Now that you can enter the car, establish personal space for yourself and the driver by sitting in the back. Not only are you separate from them, but the back of the vehicle is safest in case of an accident.
No matter where in the world you are, wear your seatbelt, position yourself properly in the seat, and be mindful of the doors. If any dangerous situation arises, be sure you have a plan to leave the vehicle if need be.
4. Take Advantage of App Safety Tools
Ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber provide multiple safety tools for their riders through the apps themselves. You can, for example, share your ride status and location with somebody you trust so they can monitor it.
These apps also allow you to alert emergency services with one tap on the ride map, including your location and ride info. Look into these things prior to hailing your ride so you’ll be prepared for any situation.
5. Speak Up If You’re Uncomfortable With Your Driver’s Driving
Once the ride begins, you’ll soon know how comfortable you feel about your driver’s driving. If they are driving too fast, too recklessly, or too slowly, don’t hesitate to say something about it. Your driver is almost certainly hoping for a good review, so they will most likely listen if you speak up.
Then again, they may not. Or they might slow down (or speed up) but not as much as you’d like. If you’re still uncomfortable for any reason, ask to get out and end the trip early.
6. Ride With a Friend If Possible
Whatever service you’re using, you’re still essentially riding with somebody who is a stranger to you. In addition to the previous tips, bringing a friend along with you is the best way to feel safe.
Having a trusted person with you creates very different circumstances, where you might have been nervous or uncomfortable otherwise. Naturally, this isn’t always possible, so if you can’t bring a friend along, share your ride through the app instead.
7. Set Pickup and Dropoff Locations Mindfully
You can add another layer of security by altering your pickup and dropoff spots from your actual current location or destination. Say you’re leaving a relatively deserted area. Instead of having the driver pick you up there, find a more public place nearby.
When it comes to setting your dropoff location, make it near your destination rather than the exact address. Doing this — or getting dropped off in a more populated area close by — can prevent strangers from knowing where you live.
8. Act Confident in Your Knowledge of the Area
City dwellers often advise tourists to act local when taking cabs so the driver doesn’t take a more meandering — and expensive — route. The same applies to ride-sharing users who feel vulnerable. If you can talk a good geographic game, your driver may be less likely to deviate from the route.
This strategy is most viable when you have a more talkative driver, but you can generally find ways to make your knowledge known. Even if you aren’t a true native, nobody else will know but you, and you’ll be more secure for it.
9. Don’t Distract the Driver
It’s important to remember that your driver is a person, too, and they have boundaries of their own. Sitting in the backseat is not only safer in an accident, but it allows the driver the space they need to focus.
You may be returning from a night of revelry, but tone things down when you get in the car. Loud talk and reckless behavior from you can inhibit the driver’s ability to get you home safely. Ensure that while you watch out for yourself, you also respect your driver’s attention to the road.
Taking a private car home used to be only for those who could afford the luxury. Nowadays, this perk is accessible with the tap of a button and affordable for many more people. With more ride-sharing usage, though, there are more chances for things to go wrong — so make sure you’re riding safely. By taking heed of these tips, you increase your chances of getting home safe and sound.