Pay Per Ride Safety
Safety Tips When Paying for Rideshare
Lyft safety and Uber Safety Tips
As children we were taught, “Do not talk to strangers; especially online” and “Never get into a car with a stranger.” However, modern technology has made ridesharing simple, efficient and economical. By using Smartphones, anytime day or night, we can conveniently arrange pay per ride transportation, ridesharing, peer-to-peer car service, carpooling, or taxi services, which all require that we get into a strangers’ car, then trust that they will drive safely to our desired location.
Convenience naturally leads to complacency, which increases the danger of becoming vulnerable to criminals’ intentions. A perception of safety and trust lowers our guard, which is a state of mind that criminals look for in their victims.
Rideshare rape is a worldwide problem.
Overall, as the number of ride sharing transactions increase, so will incidents of sexual assault and other crimes related to pay-per-rides. Most rideshare exchanges are safe from numerous companies listed in alphabetical order: Didi, Getaround, Grab, JustShareIt, Lyft, Relay Rides, Uber, Wingz, Zimride, and regional or local companies, such as BlaBlaCar and Carma.
Rideshare arrangements from bars and social events that serve alcohol prove to be circumstances with the greatest danger of rideshare violence. Worst cases of violence involve victims kidnapped, driven to a secluded location, and raped. Similar to statistics regarding sexual assault, unfortunately, most rideshare rapes go unreported. If a woman reports a rape, drivers are sometimes identified through their contract information with the rideshare company. Other times, the rideshare impersonators can remain anonymous and are harder to identify.
Dangerous rideshare situations usually happen later in the evening. People commonly wait for their ride at curb side, open the door or lean inside the window to trustingly ask if he is their driver. A rideshare rapist will of course affirm and his next victim gets into his vehicle and he drives to a secluded location to rape her.
Rapists impersonating rideshare drivers may or may not have a front windshield Uber/Lyft sign or light on their dashboard, and therefore can stay anonymous. Often, victims are usually too drunk to match the phone number, license plate, and driver’s picture to the ride-share they ordered. From the predator’s perspective, these are easy compliant, trusting, and defenseless victims. The victim’s ability to identify options is clouded from alcohol consumption and/or drug use. She is too intoxicated and impaired to physically resist or fight back effectively.
Rideshare rapists may also be legitimately hired drivers, who despite the risk of being identified, commit sexual assaults. Overall, law enforcement investigators can’t build evidence to file solid cases without the help from rideshare companies. Some companies are being publicly chastised for their hiring protocols regarding thorough background checks. Even if a rideshare company successfully screens drivers through background checks, this only means the driver has not have been convicted of a sexual offence. Ridesharing companies are more cooperative with patrol officers and detectives about allowing access to rideshare trip histories and driver contact information for investigations.
Rideshare Safety Story
The Rideshare Safety series will address the safety concerns in this situation, and many more.
A 20-year-old female was drinking at her friend’s house until 4:30am. She called Uber to take her to a (urban) destination 15 miles away. The driver, an immigrant who did not speak the local language, picked her up. She quickly fell asleep in the vehicle. When she awoke, he was driving on an unfamiliar four lane highway, which had open fields on both sides with a strip mall on the opposite side of the highway.
When the driver did not respond to her question about where he was taking her and would not stop, she became frightened. She had poor cellphone reception. She also realized that the intended destination on her cell phone was inaccurate.
She managed to get through to 9-1-1 operator on her cell phone. After two transfers from the highway patrol, she was finally connected to the local police department. While talking to the 9-1-1 operator, her phone battery died.
She became hysterical. The driver eventually let her out of the vehicle on the side of the field and drove away. Police found her by chance. They also found the Uber driver. The investigation revealed that while she was asleep, the driver changed the address on his phone to a new location. This automatically changed the address on her phone, which further added to her confusion.
When the Uber arrived to pick her up, she was intoxicated and when she got into his vehicle. She said she did not check to see if the van was her actual ride. She passed out for almost an hour and awoke far from her original desired location. She did not know about the emergency SOS app that her rideshare company made available.
There are rideshare protective measures you can take to reduce the chances of assault. This rideshare safety series is divided into four sections and a fifth for those who are rideshare drivers.
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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