Ridesharing companies have been in service for a while now. As these innovative transportation platforms continue to grow, so do the number of considerations.
Though smartphone apps connect passengers with identifiable drivers for a planned pickup, some passengers might still be concerned about their encounters with complete strangers. Therefore, here are a few tips on how passengers can better protect themselves and make their journey a little safer.
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Tip #1: Check The Driver’s Ratings And Feedback From Previous Passengers
When booking a ride, briefly look through the driver’s ratings and feedback from previous passengers to have a better understanding of their experiences. Passengers are allowed to cancel the request if they are not comfortable with the assigned driver.
Alternatively, passengers can opt to share the ride with others who have a similar destination by using the carpool option. While the number of stops increases, one can reach their destination with the comfort of knowing that there is a certain amount of safety in numbers.
Tip #2: Verify The Identity Of The Driver And Their Car Before You Board
When the driver arrives, the first thing that one should do is confirm that the vehicle, license plate, and driver all match up to the information provided by the app. Ask to see the driver’s ID to confirm that they are who they say they are. This is a crucial step that can prevent a person from getting in the wrong car or riding with someone who is only posing as a driver of the service in question. If any of this information seems off, do not get into the car.
Also, take a photo of the vehicle and its license plate before accepting the ride and getting into the car, just in case something goes wrong during the drive and you need to provide this information to the authorities.
Tip #3: Sit In The Backseat Of The Car
When getting inside of the vehicle, passengers who are travelling alone should sit in the back seat where they can not only avoid unwanted physical contact, but also safely exit on either side of the vehicle and steer clear of moving traffic.
Tip #4: Share Your Trip Details
While en route, tap on the “SHARE” icon, choose a social sharing option, confirm your recipient and send the message! The app will provide details of your driver’s name, license plate number, car model and ETA with one of your friends, relatives or whomever you might be meeting up with.
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Tip #5: Keep Your Personal Particulars Confidential
There is no harm in exchanging pleasantries with your driver, but refrain from giving them any personal particulars, such as your home address, phone number or any other contact information.
Tip #6: Know Where You Are Going Ahead Of Time
Have a rough idea on where you are going ahead of time, and approximately how long it will take to reach your destination. You can look up for information online or on your smartphone, but be realistic about your knowledge of the area. During the ride, make sure to track your route on your own maps app to ensure the driver is going in the right direction. While the driver may know of a better route or one that avoids toll booths, if you are headed the wrong way entirely, get out of the car at the first opportunity.
Tip #7: Listen To Your Intuition
Listen to your intuition – It acts as an internal GPS system! If you are caught in an uncomfortable situation that threatens your safety, immediately dial 999 using the emergency button located in the rideshare app. These apps will provide your real-time location and trip details that you can share with the dispatcher.
Tip #8: Leave A Feedback On Your Trip
Ratings are a convenient, quantitative and non-intrusive method to assure prospective passengers about their upcoming rides and avoid transactions which could potentially lead to a nerve-wrecking experience. This is an often overlooked aspect of rideshare safety, but these feedbacks will also help companies take the necessary measures if there is inappropriate conduct among their drivers. Together, you can keep the good drivers on the road, and bad ones off!
Regardless of how approachable a driver can be, passengers should always remain cautious and vigilant at all times. Lastly, if you enjoy reading up on rideshare tips as much as we do, please relay your thoughts and suggestions on what you would like to see next in the comment section below!