When you’re ordering an Uber, it may not occur to you, but you’re dealing with strangers.
Though some taxi apps have their own security measures, we never really know what they do to drivers after an incident occurs. Sometimes they’ll offer a discount, or other times they’ll promise to look into it, but there’s only so much they can do. You can never be too cautious when dealing with a taxi app or when riding an Uber. You’d rather be safe than sorry, so here are a few ways you can stay safe while riding an Uber.
1. Wait for the Uber Indoors
Everybody has experienced it. You are awaiting your Uber outside a bar or other establishment in a hurry because you need to get elsewhere. This is dangerous from a safety standpoint since it gives an opportunity to a possible criminal, also known as an Uber impersonator, to see you and accurately assume that you are hurried and waiting for your Uber.
If they are slick, they will approach you without difficulty and inquire, “Did you call an Uber?” You rush in without giving it much thought because you need to go there. Don’t do it because it might be the final ride you ever take.
Instead, calmly wait inside for the Uber to show up. Check the driver’s rating on the app while you are doing this. The journey might need to be cancelled if the driver has a poor rating. If you decide to cancel, act fast to avoid being charged.
2. Ensure Your Ride Parks in a Well-Lit Area
When the Uber arrives, request that the driver park in a well-lit spot and flash their lights or turn on their indicators. This will enable you to recognise the right vehicle and confirm the licence plate, make, and model of the car from a safe distance. Before approaching the driver’s car, you can also watch the driver to see if they exhibit any unusual behaviour. Once you’ve confirmed that the car’s make, model, and licence plate match the information in the app, only approach it.
Ask the driver who they are picking up when you get to the car. You may compare their voice to the person you spoke to and their face to the picture on the app thanks to this quick exchange. Give the driver your phone’s “Verify Your Ride” PIN number if everything checks up. Once this PIN has been used to match you with the driver’s phone, only then should you enter the car.
3. Take Precautions When Inside the Car
Wear your seatbelt and sit in the backseat on the passenger side of the vehicle to maximise your protection in case of an accident. Meanwhile, sitting in the back on the passenger side gives you room to move away from the driver and also makes it possible for you to exit the car securely from either side in order to avoid oncoming traffic.
A kid lock should not be activated, therefore check the door handle. Your freedom of movement will greatly benefit from this. Ask the motorist to turn it off if it’s on courteously. Never let the driver leave without releasing the child lock.
4. Let a Friend or Family Member Know Your Whereabouts
Once the Uber has started moving, phone a reliable contact and let them know you are in route to location X and anticipate being there in Y minutes. If there is no one to call, make a call to yourself and leave a message. This is done on purpose to let the driver know that you are paying attention, are in control of your faculties, and have contacts who are aware of your whereabouts.
5. Monitor Your Route
Throughout the journey, be kind and considerate to the driver. Till you get to your destination, it is preferable to keep all non-travel-related conversations with the driver to a minimum. Make sure you stay on top of the route by having your own map open or keeping an eye on the driver’s phone, which is typically mounted on the dashboard.
6. Exit the Uber in a Safe Area
It’s also a good idea, if it’s feasible, to get out of the Uber in a place that’s well-lit, open to the public, and doesn’t reveal your specific home address once you’ve arrived at your destination.