Making use of ridesharing services is a creative way to make short trips across town without needing to own a car. Instead, you pay a variable amount depending on the length of the trip and time of day for each ride you go on.
While ridesharing services can be convenient and appealing, putting your safety in the hands of another driver is always a risk. The injuries caused by Uber accidents and similar ridesharing services can cause long-lasting effects that severely impact your life.
Preventing a ridesharing accident begins with understanding what causes them and what you can do to help. To get you started, we have a few insightful tips to promote your safety below!
Verify Your Driver
One of the most important aspects of using a ridesharing service is to verify your driver. This step is commonly overlooked, but this is a mistake because you need to know who you’re riding with.
There are two primary reasons to verify your driver. Firstly, you need to ensure that you’re only entering the vehicle of the person that is supposed to be your rideshare driver. This is because scammers and kidnappers pose as rideshare drivers to pick up unsuspecting passengers.
Getting into the wrong vehicle is extremely dangerous, especially if you are alone, inebriated, or female. Fortunately, this is easily avoided by verifying that the car you are about to enter matches the details showing on your rideshare app.
The other important reason to verify your driver is to give you an idea of who is driving you. Most rideshare apps use a rating service for drivers to indicate rider satisfaction levels.
Drivers with higher ratings are more dependable as a safe driving option. Alternatively, a driver with a low rating can cause a poor experience or perhaps they are a bad driver.
While ratings don’t tell everything, there’s no good reason to accept a ride from a driver with poor reviews. Don’t feel guilty about requesting another driver if you don’t feel comfortable.
With this in mind, your first moment to prioritize your safety begins before you even step into the car. Don’t get in the wrong car or accept a ride from a driver with bad ratings.
Practice Passenger Safety
When you do finally get into the right car, you must practice passenger safety. This means actions like wearing your seatbelt, sitting in the back seat, and refraining from distracting the driver.
While you can’t control how well your driver performs, you can minimize the impact you have on them. Let them focus on the road and don’t give them a reason to constantly notice and hear you because distractions are one of the most common reasons for traffic accidents.
Distractions aside, there’s still the possibility that your driver gets in an accident. Should this happen, you want to ensure you’re protected against bodily harm. Riding properly in a vehicle and wearing your seatbelt are the two best ways to minimize potential injuries.
Your driver might be in control of the car, but how you behave inside it can help reduce the risk of an accident.
Stay Present and Alert
Another important practice during your rideshare trip is to stay present and alert.
Specifically, there are two great reasons for this. The first is to ensure that your rideshare driver is taking you to the correct location.
While verifying your driver greatly reduces the chances of encountering a criminal with bad intentions, even a highly-rated driver can decide to hurt you. If a driver is attempting to kidnap you, then the sooner you become aware that you’re going in the wrong direction, the more time you have to stop it.
The other purpose for remaining present is so that you can be ready for your driver to make a mistake. If they are falling asleep or paying poor attention to the road, then you can attempt to wake them up or redirect their attention. Alternatively, you can ask them to stop entirely if you don’t feel safe with their abilities.
Being a passenger in a rideshare may tempt you to zone out and browse through your phone, but doing this reduces your ability to notice an issue that may lead to an accident or abduction.
A final ridesharing service safety tip is to inform others about your travel plans. Even if you’re a highly-independent person, it helps to have people that care about you.
If someone knows you have plans and you don’t follow through or update them, then this can indicate that you are in trouble. Alternatively, if nobody knows that you’re in a rideshare, then you can be abducted for days until someone else in your life notices.
When you keep friends or family members informed of your plans, they can keep tabs on you and verify that you completed your trip. Be sure to include information like when you’re traveling, how long it should take, the details of the car and driver you’re using, and consider sharing your location with them on your phone.
Though it may seem unnecessary, it’s far better to over-communicate and be over-prepared than to have nobody concerned about your whereabouts. Find at least one person to inform regarding your plans and you’ll have much greater peace of mind during your trips.
If you choose to use ridesharing services for your transportation needs, then you’ll need to be prepared for the unique safety risks posed. Ridesharing services open the door for issues in the form of car accidents and potential theft or abduction.
To help ensure smooth ride-sharing experiences, you must follow a few important steps for every ride. This includes verifying your driver, practicing passenger safety, staying present and alert during the drive, and informing someone else of your travel plans.
The benefits and convenience of using rideshare services heavily outweigh the risk of something going wrong. When you’re diligent about ensuring your safety, you can appreciate the simplicity of ridesharing without having to worry.