How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

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Millions of people use ride services Uber and Lyft every week. It’s convenient and reliable. But every now and then a startling story comes out that makes some people question whether that convenience and reliability are worth the risk.

Take the recent story about a South Carolina college student who got into a car she mistook for an Uber and was later killed. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure you stay safe when hailing your favorite ride service.

Here are six safety tips for using rideshare services:

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

1. Wait indoors for your ride

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

Standing outside with your phone in your hand could make you an easy target for predators pretending to be rideshare drivers. Instead, wait inside until your app tells you your driver has arrived. To be doubly sure, you can even call or text your driver to confirm their arrival.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

2. Safety is in the details

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

When your driver does arrive, be sure the check the make, model and color of the vehicle, plus the license plate and driver’s name and photo. If it doesn’t all match up, decline the service and wait for another car.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

3. Watch where you’re going

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

Follow the driver’s route on your GPS if you aren’t familiar with how to get to your destination. You’ll know pretty quickly if your driver isn’t headed in the right direction.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

4. Keep your private info private

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

Don’t share your phone number, credit card information or any other personal data with your driver. Use only the app for communication and payment in order to keep your details secure.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

5. Never ride up front

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

Unless you’ve got multiple people traveling with you, it’s always best to sit in the back seat. You’ll have a better chance of getting out of the vehicle if something goes awry.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

6. Let someone know where you’re going

How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

The apps for both Lyft and Uber allow you to share your driver’s information with other people. If you’re feeling even remotely uncomfortable or are in a strange city or neighborhood, it can be a good idea to let a friend or relative know your whereabouts.

The Uber app’s “Share Status” option lets you send detailed information including your driver’s name, photo, license plate and location. They can also track your trip and see your ETA.

Lyft’s similar “Send ETA” option lets you text your friend with information about the car, your driver and where you are on your route.

By following these safety tips, you can feel confident wherever your rideshare travels take you.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos.com.

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How to stay safe in an Uber or Lyft

Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.

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