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Post Time- 10:46 AM Post By - admin

Rideshare Safety – What You Need to Know

Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are operating in more areas every year. What was once only common in large cities, is often a service found in smaller communities. These “on-demand” ride services can be especially convenient when traveling to a new area for both business and pleasure. Whether you’re a rideshare veteran or an occasional, new rider, it is important to pay attention to your personal safety. Read on to learn some tips, dos and don’ts and general precautions you should take when using rideshare services.

How They Work

Getting started with a rideshare service is easy. Once you download the app to your smartphone, it is just a matter of establishing an account and linking a form of payment. When you need a ride, simply open the app and enter your destination. If you have location services engaged on your smartphone, the app will already know your pick-up location, but you can enter that as well. The app will then tell you how long it will be until your ride will arrive. You will have an option to tip and rate the driver all within the app after your trip is complete.

Risks

Imposters. There are stories of people posing as drivers to take advantage of passengers for criminal purposes.

Accidents. Depending on your personal driving record, the rideshare driver may be safer! All drivers must pass a background check and there are minimum requirements to become an approved rideshare driver. Nevertheless, accidents can occur.

Criminals. While leading rideshare companies require driving and background checks, investigations have shown that the evaluation methods are not foolproof. Both major companies report continued improvement in the evaluation process for new drivers.

Top Safety Tips

  • Wait for your ride in a safe place. The apps will tell you the exact location of your driver allowing you to meet them at the last possible minute, minimizing the time you are standing outside unprotected.
  • Ask “What’s my name?” ALWAYS. If the driver can’t tell you your name and your destination BEFORE you enter the vehicle, do not get in the vehicle. This is a possible instance of fraud.
  • Verify both the car and the driver. Your app should tell you the name of the driver along with the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle, driver and app all match.
  • If possible, don’t ride alone. This is not always possible but there is strength in numbers.
  • Share your trip. This app feature allows you to share your trip details with friends and family, alerting others of your situation. Once the trip is shared, they can track your location using the app.
  • Let the driver know the trip is being tracked. Make a phone call, either real or staged – “Hi, it’s me! I just got in my Uber and I will be there in 20 minutes. See you then!” This passively alerts the driver that others are aware.
  • When riding alone, choose where to sit wisely. Sitting in the back seat allows you two ways to exit the vehicle and keeps your driver in full view.
  • Follow the rules. You have an expectation that your driver will follow the rules; so should you. Wear your seatbelt and follow any other rules set by your driver while in the car. Remember, this is your driver’s personal vehicle.
  • Do not share personal information. Don’t share your living situation or your home address with the driver. Even if the driver is picking you up at your home; they do not know that. The app only shares a pick-up location/address.
  • Rate your driver. This helps to keep good drivers on the road. Too many low ratings will cause a driver to lose his or her privileges.

In closing, both leading rideshare apps now have an in-app panic button to call 911. It is vital that you report any illegal, dangerous or suspicious behavior to the proper local authorities as well as the rideshare company.

The pros at Shepard’s Automotive Center value customer relationships and we seek to be your one-stop-shop for mechanical and collision repair. We invite you to contact us online or call 978-465-5973, Monday through Friday between 8am and 5pm. Regardless of your repair, we will be happy to work with you to map out a plan that fits your budget and solves your problems.

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