Rideshare services including Uber and Lyft have become a valuable transportation resource in our day-to-day lives. They can help us get to the airport on time, go from home to downtown without worrying about finding a parking spot, and give us an option for getting home after dinner with friends.
While ridesharing services are both convenient and popular, it is important to remember to stay on guard and put your safety first when you call for a ride. During high traffic times around the holidays and special events, the rate of accidents, crime, and fraud tends to increase.
Rideshare Safety Tips Before Getting in The Vehicle
Studies have found that while alcohol-involved car accidents decrease when services like Uber and Lyft become available in a city, they find no change in the overall number of crashes. A study this year by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found that rideshare services are causing more car and pedestrian crashes at pick-up and drop-off locations.
In addition to vehicle accidents, there are other safety risks as well including reported incidents of kidnapping and sexual assault by people who impersonate ridesharing drivers. If you choose to use a rideshare service, we encourage you to review and adhere to safety guidelines before getting into a vehicle.
- Make your reservation and wait for your ride from a safe location.
- Check that the license plate, color, and make of the vehicle arriving to pick you up match the information in the ride app.
- Ask the driver to identify you by name before entering the car.
- Enter the car in a safe location free of moving traffic and use a crosswalk if you need to cross the road.
While Riding in The Vehicle
If you have ever been in a car accident you know how stressful and scary the situation can be. Knowing what to do beforehand can help you keep calm and clear-headed if you are ever in an accident or a dangerous situation as a passenger of a rideshare service.
One way to protect yourself is to familiarize yourself with in-app safety features and tips designed to use during the ride. These include:
- Share your trip information with a friend or loved one so they can also make sure your driver is staying on course
- Speak up if a driver’s behavior or driving is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe
- If an accident happens or you feel you are in danger, use your phone or the in-app feature to call 911 for emergency help
- A new feature coming soon to Lyft will notice when your ride has stopped too soon or for an unusual amount of time and will ask if you and your driver need support. If necessary, the app will give you the option to request emergency assistance.
Today, COVID-19 is also a concern when riding in vehicles that may have transported multiple passengers in the hours leading up to your trip. The major rideshare services have adopted policies to help keep their drivers and passengers safe and healthy. The Centers for Disease Control released new guidelines this year regarding health safety while using rideshare services.
Both Uber and Lyft make it clear that to use their service both riders and drivers must wear masks and keep the front seat next to the driver clear. The services paused their shared ride (also known as carpooling) features that once allowed patrons to ride with strangers going to and from nearby locations. Drivers should also be equipped with cleaning supplies to disinfect their cars between riders.
Passengers can ask to ride with the windows lowered and remember to use hand sanitizer or wash their hands after exiting the car. You also have the right to refuse a ride that makes you feel unsafe or you believe the driver is not following safety standards. The CDC advises riders and drivers to not use rideshare services when feeling ill.
Ridesharing is a useful service that can be especially valuable when getting around town during the holidays. Be sure to regularly review app updates, safety standards, and safety features of the service you prefer to use. If you ever feel in danger while using a rideshare service, do not hesitate to cancel the ride, cut the ride short, or call for emergency assistance.
If you have questions about serious injuries that resulted from an incident involving a ridesharing service, please reach out to our team at (305) 662-6178.
Centers for Disease Control (2020, October 21). Protect Yourself When Using Transportation. Retrieved from:
Centers for Disease Control (2020, April 17). What Rideshare, Taxi, Limo, and other Passenger Drivers-for-Hire Need to Know about COVID-19. Retrieved from:
Roberson (2020, March 13). Riding Or Driving Rideshare During The Coronavirus? Stay Safe With These Tips (And A CDC Update). Retrieved from:
Rossi (2020, March 18). 11 Important Rideshare Safety Tips for Travelers. Retrieved from:
Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (2020, April 7). Ride-Hailing Linked to Crashes for Motorists and Pedestrians. Retrieved from: