Ridesharing apps quickly became an asset for around-town traveling. Here are some safety tips to make them a stronger and safer asset; this is knowledge that can help prevent an unwanted, even dangerous, situation.
Double check and then check again. Ride-sharing services provide the driver’s first name, photo, license plate number, picture of the vehicle and their driver’s rating. It’s best riders not skim past this information; it’s important to check out what other users have said about the driver, but it’s critical to get in the correct vehicle. There have been numerous news reports of people pretending to be rideshare drivers and assaulting the unsuspecting victims they pick up.
Stay aware. It’s wise for riders to take a look at how to get to their destination prior to their rideshare trip. That way, if the driver starts going in directions that don’t make sense, they can address it with the driver and then take action.
Car etiquette. Riders should make sure to sit in the back seat. Sitting in the back seat provides immediate distance and a reactionary gap in case something happens. And once in the car, before the driver even leaves, riders should try to re-open their door to make sure child safety locks are not engaged and they have the ability to open their own door should they want or need to.
Have someone keep tabs on each ride. Through the ride-sharing app, riders can provide family and friends with the driver’s information along with the route and ETA — information that can be lifesaving; in the event something does occur on the ride, the person who has been sent the information will realize something is wrong when the rider isn’t at the destination at the time indicated.
When push comes to shove. Riders must be the biggest, loudest problem for the driver if the driver gets “handsy” or does something to make them feel uncomfortable: Gouge eyes, kick and punch fiercely, grab objects or people within reach and, most importantly, make a scene by yelling as loud as possible to draw attention.
Don’t second-guess a bad feeling. Riders who get a bad feeling, no matter how small, should ask to be let out at the next store or public area. If worst comes to worst, they should immediately dial 911 for help.
Krav Maga Worldwide is an industry leader in self-defense and safety.