Two Ride Sharing Safety Tips For the Next Time You Take Uber or Lyft

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A woman rides in a car's rear passenger seat.

(Photo credit: ©iStock.com/ASphotowed)

A couple of quick and simple tips may keep you safer during your next Lyft or Uber ride.

Rideshare safety is the news following the recent murders of two young college women.

Neither Lyft’s nor Uber’s drivers were deemed responsible for the deaths. Samantha Josephson was murdered by someone allegedly posing as her Uber driver. Mackenzie Lueck purportedly directed a Lyft driver drop her off in a remote area before entering a man’s car. Her body was found nearly two weeks later.

Many people know to use their rideshare app to verify their driver and car.

But that isn’t enough.

Physically Check the Child Locks on a Ride Share Car Door

Writer Tiffany Jackson tweeted a good tip this week:

That’s good advice — except, what if the doors actually are locked when you test them?

Don’t put yourself in that situation.

Physically inspect the child locks while the door is still open and before you even sit down.

For instance, they’re located on the door’s side of my car.

The child safety lock location on a Toyota Highlander.

The sticker indicates that when the latch is pushed down, the child safety lock is on.

An unlocked child safety lock inside a Toyota Highlander.

Don’t get into a car with the child safety locks engaged. Cancel the ride and request a new driver. Who cares if your rider score dips a few points? Your safety is worth it.

And if you get charged a cancellation fee, simply dispute it with the company — and tell them why you didn’t feel safe.

Let a Friend or Family Track Your Ride

Both Lyft and Uber allow you to share your location with another person. It’s great when carpooling with a friend. And it’s a good way for someone else to make sure you’re going to your desired destination.

Share your Lyft location on the rideshare app!

If you suddenly feel unsafe, tell the person tracking your car. Then one (or both) of you can call the police. Let the cops know exactly where you are.

If it all sounds like too much or over the top, remember: it’s better to be tracked in case you need to be rescued than recovered.

Just Because It’s Not in the News Doesn’t Mean It Doesn’t Happen

The young ladies’ deaths are two of the higher-profile incidents. But nefarious people are everywhere — and know when to strike.

Just because a driver displays an Uber or Lyft logo doesn’t mean s/he is the real deal. It’s easy to print the logos — and that enables someone to masquerade as a rideshare driver.

“The drivers troll nightclubs and bars late at night to find people scanning the dark for their ride, according to law enforcement descriptions of the assaults,” Jack Healy writes in the New York Times. “They wave to passengers and say, ‘I’m your driver.’ Some even hang ride-share decals in their windows.”

Moral of the story: put your safety first.

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What Ride Share Safety Tips Do You Have?

Do you employ any safety measures when using rideshare services? Do you carry mace, pepper spray, or any other self-defense tools? Please share them in the Comment section below!

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