There are a lot of safety tips that you should follow when you’re calling and about ready to get into an Uber ride. For example, you should check the license plate to confirm you’re getting into the right car. However, your job isn’t over once you’ve glanced over the vehicle and you get inside.
Uber rides are convenient, and they are safe too, as long as you follow these tips after you open the door and get inside.
Always Wear Your Seat Belt
It doesn’t matter if you’re driving your own car if you’re riding in a taxi, or you’re riding in an Uber. It is extremely important to wear your seat belt.
An accident can be devastating if you aren’t wearing your seat belt. Not to mention, you may make your driver uncomfortable if you don’t put your seat belt on. Only just having met you, your driver doesn’t want to have to remind you to do something as trivial as putting on your seat belt.
Putting on your belt can also save you a lot of trouble down the road. If you get into an accident, you have the potential to recover damages from Uber. However, according to Viles and Beckman, “If you are not wearing your seat belt and an accident does occur, it might affect your ability to recover damages.” That’s because it leaves you liable for at least a portion of your injuries. Put on your belt and you can easily demonstrate that your injuries aren’t your fault.
Know Where to Sit
Where you sit could be important to your safety as well. The question is whether you should sit in the front seat or the back seat?
If safety is your priority, you should definitely sit in the back seat. When you sit in the back seat, you have two possible exits instead of just one. You are also more out of reach of the driver. It’s even better if you can sit on the passenger’s side of the back seat. That enables you to keep an eye on your driver, as well as the road.
Never Ride Alone
One of the best things you can do for your safety is to avoid riding alone. If you’re heading to or from work or meeting up with friends in the evening, get together so you can call an Uber ride as a group. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable, and having another person there with you will reduce the chances of experiencing a problem with your driver. It can eliminate the need to engage in the small talk too!
Don’t have a friend or coworker to hitch a ride with? Consider sharing your car with other riders. With Uber Pool, you can share a ride with others who are heading in the same direction. The more people in the car, the less likely it is for something shady to occur.
Ask Them to Tell You Your Name and Destination
Whether you ride alone or you ride with others, you should always ask the driver to tell you your name. If they are truly an Uber driver, and not just posing as one to engage in criminal activity, they will know exactly who you are.
They will also know where you’re going. Allow them to bring up your destination before you start telling them where to go. If they know your name and your destination, you know they are true Uber drivers, and they will be professional and friendly.
Don’t Share Your Personal Information
Even if you know your driver truly drives for Uber, that doesn’t mean you can start pouring your heart out. Curiously, it’s often easier to talk to strangers than it is to tell those close to us the same things. The trouble is, a lot of that information you may offer up is information that you shouldn’t be telling your Uber driver. Things you should keep to yourself include:
- Personal information, like your age and birthdate
- Where you work and your schedule
- Whether you live alone or with others
- Where you’re going on vacation and when
It’s also not a bad idea to have the driver drop you off at a location a block away from where you live and where you work. That way, they aren’t tempted to swing by later when they’re off the clock.
Use Safety Technology
Sometimes, safety is more about feeling safe, even if you never have to deal with criminal behavior. That’s where safety technology comes in.
There are a lot of great apps that you can download on your phone that will make you feel better about getting into the back seat of an Uber ride. Phone trackers can help police and loved ones track you down if you go missing. Other apps enable you to automatically record or call 911 if there’s trouble.
That’s not all. You can also find other safety devices, like rings and necklaces with panic buttons, as well as more traditional self-defense items like pepper spray and tactical pens.
Tell Someone You’re Taking a Ride
It’s always a good idea to tell a friend or family member when you’re going somewhere by yourself. It can save your life if you’re going on a hike, but it can save your life when you’re in the middle of the city too. Should you go missing, they will know where to tell authorities to start looking.
Texting your friend or family member is convenient, but it’s even better if you call and tell them when you’re in the car. That lets the driver know that you may be alone, but there are people who know where you’re going and when you’re expected to get there.
Just because someone else is driving doesn’t mean you can relax. It’s important to be aware of your safety every time you step inside an Uber ride. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but you’ll also ensure that you arrive safe and happy at your destination every time.