Last week, a University of South Carolina student was murdered after getting into a vehicle that she mistakenly thought was her Uber ride.
In response to the tragedy, the rideshare company is planning to launch a “Check Your Ride” awareness campaign. The safety campaign will be promoted using social media, ads in college newspapers, and push notifications to riders.
If you plan to use a rideshare service in the meantime, here are 10 tips to increase your safety.
1. Don’t use your home address when requesting a ride. Use cross streets to provide directions, if possible.
2. When the vehicle arrives, check the make, model and license plate before getting in. They should match the information you receive via the app.
3. Verify the driver’s identity before entering vehicle. Again, you should receive this information via the app.
4. Ask the driver to confirm who they are picking up and the destination. Do not say, “Are you here to pick up (your name).” If the driver doesn’t have the information, don’t get in the car.
5. If possible, don’t travel alone.
6. If you must travel alone, don’t sit in the front seat. Sit behind the front passenger seat so that you can see what the driver is doing and escape if necessary.
7. Let your friends and family know your travel plans. The Uber app Safety Center contains a feature called “Share My Trip” that lets riders notify friends and family about their travel status in real time.
8. Taking it a step further, let the driver hear you call a friend or family member. Tell them the make, model, and color of vehicle you’re in, the license plate number, the driver’s name and the estimated arrival time.
9. Do not share personal information with the driver.
10. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, make an excuse to end the trip early and get out of the vehicle. Go somewhere safe.
Share these rideshare safety tips with your family, friends, and colleagues.