Published On: Thu, Aug 9th, 2018

Rideshare Flams and Scams : How Is Safe Your Ride?

Briefly looking at the history of rideshare, it essentially involved people participating in an arrangement whereby the owner of a private vehicle allows a passenger to ride in his own car for free or an agreed fee and this is mostly arranged through a website or an app. Both the driver and the passenger share a common goal of getting to the same direction and the driver gets to reduce the cost of the trip. However, the launching of companies such as Lyft and Uber services has changed the general landscape of private transportation.

photo/ freestocks-photos via pixabay

Today, rideshare is for profit.

The driver and passenger are connected through an app or website. Carless citizens, students, travelers and city dwellers often rely on the services of Uber and Lyft to move from one place to another.Surely, there are obvious benefits of ridesharing such as money saving, reduction of pollution due to improved air quality, conservation of non-renewable sources of energy and more. However, the bad side of this transportation evolution can’t be ignored as well.

Apart from the inevitable cons such as liability issues, long waiting times and the woes of being an independent contractor driver, there are uglier sides to rideshare.

If you take your time to go through the Who’s Driving You? site, you will discover some of the complied terrible reports of ridesharing assaults from “ghost drivers” and robbery to sexual assaults. These are the claims, which even Uber and Lyft themselves have confessed to having received. 

From all these, you can learn something. Lift and Uber are just as safe as traditional taxis. So, how safe are you from rideshare scams? How sure is your safety when it comes to your Uber or Lyft ride? The following tips have been gathered from victims reports, news report and rideshare to bring to you a simple guide on how you can remain safe taking your rides.

  • Verify the license plate and driver’s name first before getting into the car. 
  • Don’t get in if a driver pulls up with the license plate that is obscured with mud or something.
  • Have a strong password or passwords and make sure they are unique to each of these platforms to avoid a compromised account. Also, don’t share your log-in details with anyone.
  • Avoid off-app purchase and do everything through the app even if you are offered a cash discount by the driver. Decline this politely and get another car. Share the details of your trip with a friend.You can do this through the “Share status” in the app.Put in the name and photo of the driver, license plate, and location. Your trip can easily be tracked this way.
  • Avoid sharing your personal information such as phone number with the driver. Even the Uber app anonymizes the phone numbers of both the rider and driver to protect everyone’s privacy.
  • Check the driver’s rating, since it can also be used to determine the safety and quality of your ride.
  • Avoid the front seat as this could make you vulnerable to assaults, especially if you are a woman.
  • Learn some self-defense mechanism.

Lastly, don’t forget to trust your gut and follow your intuition. If you ever feel you’re in danger, don’t hesitate to call 911 immediately.

Author: Evelyn Perkins

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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