Rideshare Safety During Your Trip
Part 2 of 4 X 10 Rideshare Safety Tips
Ten Rideshare Safety Precautions
Lyft safety and Uber Safety Tips
Once you start your rideshare trip, now you want to be aware of what is going on in and around the vehicle to give you time to apply options if necessary. Understanding options can improve your safety during the trip to reduce some of the inherent risk of being alone and without say of what the driver does. Considerations for Uber safety, Lyft safety, and other rideshare safety options during your trip.
1. Program your destination into Waze or Google Maps.
Pay attention to the route the driver takes, especially when you are new to an area in order to ensure you are headed in the right direction. If you must break free from the vehicle, you can give the 9-1-1 operator information faster.
2. Re-open the car door immediately to ensure that child locks are not engaged when you get into the back seat. Make sure the door lock is open first.
It is difficult to check the positioning of back door child safety locks. First, people are conditioned to open doors and sit down. Usually the thought arises as the door closes. Additionally, it will likely be dark requiring a phone light. Some vehicles have an unmarked child locking levers. Others require a flat head screwdriver to turn the lever.
If the door does not open, frantically act as if you dropped your keys outside the door. Again, ensure the door lock is open. If the child safety locks are engaged, it is a red flag about the driver/vehicle/ride and requires immediate action to get away from the driver. Cancel the trip and report the driver.
3. Sit behind the front passenger seat when traveling alone. We assess why:
a) Do NOT sit in the front passenger seat, which positions you closer to the driver whereby he can easily grope you. He can also quickly restrain you inside the vehicle to prevent you from escaping. You will not going to unbuckle your seatbelt and open the door to get out before he can reach across and grab you.
b) Avoid sitting behind the driver. From this seat, it is harder for him to grab you or stare at you and make comments about you and your attire. A creepy driver may adjust his rear view mirror in order to stare at you. However, conversation is often reduced when you sit behind the driver. Sitting behind the driver makes it difficult to safely jump out of the vehicle if necessary. Though escape is possible from either side, sliding across the back seat is slower, giving an assailant time to put the car in park or engage the emergency, then turn around to grab you.
c) Best position is to sit behind the front passenger seat, you have more options. You can escape quickly opposite from passenger traffic. You have a greater view of the driver with your peripheral vision to watch what he is doing and his body language while paying attention to your surroundings. You can also use your legs more effectively to defend yourself. Fighting from inside of a vehicle is addressed in the Model Mugging Basic self defense course.
4. Wear your seatbelt. The greatest rideshare threat to personal safety involves inattentive rideshare drivers and drivers in other vehicles with poor driving skills. Automobile accidents are more common than sexual assault. You are getting into a vehicle, which you randomly selected without any knowledge of their driving performance.
5. Do not except food or beverage offered from a driver. Even though the driver may be offering it in order to be polite or improve their rating, there is potential that the beverage or food is laced with an incapacitating sedatives. Politely decline, “No thank you.”
6. Remain alert and engaged, don’t fall asleep. Stay engaged when you are in a stranger’s vehicle. Watch. Pay attention to where you are going, as well as what is going on around you inside and outside the vehicle. Do not focus on texting, or listen to music with earbuds or headphones. Do not fall asleep. Although this may be difficult if you had a long flight, late meeting, or after a late night social event. Staying alert is primary to your safety.
7. Avoid sharing too much personal information with the driver.
Do not feel obligated to answer questions that make you feel uncomfortable or that reveal personal information. A driver may ask red flag questions, such as,
- “Do you live alone?”
- “Who are you going out with tonight?”
- “Are you married?”
- “Do you have a boyfriend?”
- “Where/when do you work?”
If you have difficulty camouflage your personal information with misleading answers, create a rideshare avatar or use a close friend’s lifestyle as your own in order to distort who you are and where you are from, etc.
You will always give up personal information when discussing topics with a friend or family member. Planning to talk on the phone to someone else in order to avoid conversation while ridesharing can be intrusive to your friends and family members, especially if it is late in the evening or they are at work. They also cannot physically help you if you are attacked. Also, you may not have anyone willing to talk if you rely on this tactic. Additionally, talking to someone on the phone can be distracting for you to watch where he is driving and you might miss creepy behavior that might otherwise alert you to criminal intentions.
8. Trust your intuition to assess the driver, vehicle, or the situation. Watch the driver’s demeanor, because often a predator’s intentions will leak from his body language giving you foreknowledge of an impending assault. Use your instincts to determine whether you should continue the ride. If your driver seems creepy or gives you a strange feeling, ask the driver to stop. If possible, avoid getting out of the vehicle in a high crime area, as you may avoid one harmful situation only to lead into a different one. It is better to be charged for the ride, incur a cancellation fee or “poor rating” than to place yourself in a vulnerable, risky situation.
9. Thwart intrusive questions. Uncomfortable questions and weird or sexually oriented comments from creepy rideshare drivers are frequently reported by women. Predators assess potential victims by how “easy” a target they might be. Using the ruse of talking on the phone to avoid conversation with the driver may inadvertently provide him with personal information. Additionally, talking to someone on the phone is a distraction that lessens your awareness about the route, situation and driver behavior.
You can interview the driver, which takes time away from him asking you a bunch of questions. However, this is not recommended because, he is more likely to perceive that you like him and want to start a relationship. Do not give your phone number to him in order to be nice.
10. Treat your driver with respect to keep your customer rating high.
Just like you can rate your driver, your driver can rate you. There are numerous complaints about rideshare ratings systems about unfairness and unreliability.
For example, if a driver feels that you sexually rejected him, he may give you a bad customer rating to be spiteful or vindictive. A belligerent customer is likely to be avoided, meaning longer wait times, and a higher chance of a creepy or unsafe driver accepting your next rideshare request.
If you travel with a belligerent friend, the driver can rate you poorly can affect your safety at a later time. Demand these types of friends arrange the ride on their rideshare account. If they have been barred from rideshare, this is a red flag because these types of people often have abusive personality traits and that you would be better off to avoid in life, especially intimate relationships.
Safety Summary for Rideshare Safety Preparations
- Program your destination into Waze or Google Maps.
- Check the positioning of the car’s child safety locks.
- Sit behind the front passenger seat when traveling alone.
- Wear your seatbelt.
- Do not except food or beverage offered from a driver.
- Remain alert and engaged, don’t fall asleep.
- Avoid sharing too much personal information with the driver.
- Trust your intuition to assess the driver, vehicle, or the situation.
- Thwart intrusive questions.
- Treat your driver with respect to keep your customer rating high.
4 X 10 Safety Tips for Ridesharing Safety
(Four Part Series)
Rideshare Safety Tips (Overview and Safety Story) before, during, and after a rideshare trip.
- 1 X 10 Pre-Rideshare Safety Preparations
- 2 X 10 Rideshare Safety Preparations During Trip
- 3 X 10 Post Rideshare Safety Precautions
- 4 X 10 Rideshare Options if Threatened
Other Crime prevention.
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