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5 Tips to Stay Safe When You Use Uber or Lyft

A woman standing in front of a car and holding a smartphone.

Many people use Uber or Lyft to get where they need to go. While most rides are uneventful, it’s still a good idea to use caution and common sense. Here are some tips that will help you stay safe.

Wait Inside

After you book your ride, wait inside until the app indicates your driver has arrived. Recently, several passengers were picked up by drivers who weren’t licensed Ubers or Lyfts.

While most of these “fake” pickups were just scams to get the person to pay cash for an Uber ride that wasn’t actually an Uber ride, one incident last year was particularly tragic.

If you wait outside on the curb, you signal to passersby that you’re waiting to be picked up. If you stay indoors, you won’t be preyed upon by other drivers.

Confirm Your Ride Details with Your Driver

Ask your driver to confirm your ride details—don’t volunteer the info yourself.

For example, ask, “Who are you picking up?” rather than, “Are you picking up [name]?” If you give the driver your name, he can easily pretend he’s there for you.

All Uber and Lyft drivers receive the name you use on the app, so they should be able to give you this information easily.

Don’t Share Private Info with Your Driver

Uber and Lyft use masking technology to protect your personal information. Your driver sees the name you use on the app, and she can call or text you. However, she can’t see your full name, home address, or real phone number.

Keep it that way—don’t give your driver your real phone number or anything else. Let her contact you through the app only. This protects your information and ensures the company has a record of all your communication.

Share Your Ride Info with Someone

Ridesharing apps have a feature that allows you to share your ride information with a friend. After you’re picked up, just tap to text your ride details to a friend. This allows someone to follow along and make sure you reach your final destination.

Map Your Own Route

Pay attention to the route the driver takes. If you’re in your hometown or going to a location you’re familiar with, keep an eye on the street signs to make sure the driver is going the right way.

If you’re traveling or in an unfamiliar place, plug your destination into a map on your phone and follow along. If you notice you’re going far off the suggested route, speak up and ask your driver where he’s going.

Making it obvious that you’re aware of your surroundings and paying attention can help mitigate any potential danger.

Just because you’re the passenger, you don’t have to surrender control in an Uber or Lyft. Being proactive and taking some simple steps can ensure you get where you need to go safely.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book  Females. Read Full Bio »
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