Over the past few months, there have been issues where Lyft/Uber drivers have been harassing, assaulting and even killing passengers. You never know who you get into a car with because there are sick people in this world. One girl came to social media to express her horrifying encounter with a Lyft driver. She was trying to go to CVS, but the Lyft driver turned the system off and proceeded to ask for her number and smoke. When the girl declined, he went off route and demanded she take her clothes off. She tried to call 911, but the driver tried to attack her. Luckily, there were people who witnessed her calling for help through the window and encouraged her to jump out of the car with scrapes and bruises.
This is scary because I had two Lyft drivers; BOTH were men, who asked for my number and to get a drink with me. I politely gave them my number out of fear, but immediately blocked and reported them once I got to my destination.
I shouldn't have to be put in this situation at all and no one else should either.
Earlier this year, a college student named Samantha Josephson was tragically murdered after entering the wrong car, which she believed was her Uber ride. After hearing the news, I started becoming super paranoid about riding Lyft/Uber. I started to become highly cautious when it came to the license plates matching the ride as well as the driver confirming his name. It is important for passengers to ask, "What is my name?" Before entering the car.
In April of 2019, Lyft shared its commitment to safety by informing customers about enhanced background checks and identity verification. However, that isn't enough in my opinion. Anyone can lie on their resume and still get the job. It's a sad case, but it's true. These ride-sharing companies should do more to ensure passengers are safe. You never know if someone is really trustworthy or not.
Riding in a vehicle with a stranger will always have risks, but these suggestions can keep passengers safe and stay alert to danger. After all, the key goal is to get to your destination in a safe manner. Some suggestions include:
1. Install a GPS warning/alert to authorities if the vehicle starts going off route.
There is no reason why your driver should be going off-route in the first place. Even if there is construction or an accident, the Uber/Lyft will update automatically for the driver. If the driver were to go off-course in the car, having the GPS notification will alert authorities immediately and track your exact location.
2. A safety/emergency button that will immediately call 911 (and also notify Lyft/Uber), which works if you cannot talk in the car.
This add-on will allow you to press and hold down a button, which immediately dials 911 and notifies Lyft/Uber. It will warn you and make you aware that you are alerting authorities. In most situations, calling 911 and "talking on the phone," will make the drive panic and act quickly. If the driver knows you're calling the police on them, they will strike. The key is to do everything in secret There is also an app called Noonlight (formerly known as Safe Trek) that does this. This works with or without internet.
3. A camera device that begins recording when the passenger enters/exits the car.
Some drivers have personal cameras for their own safety, however there should be one regardless that starts once the passenger enters and leaves. Some people are hesitant towards being recorded, but this will only be viewed by authorities/Lyft/Uber. I would rather be safe than sorry.
4. At the end of the ride, the PASSENGER would have the opportunity to end the ride, confirming they made it safe, rather than just the driver.
At the end of the ride, you get notified that you've reached your destination and the rating of your ride. However, the passenger should have the opportunity to confirm the arrival as well. Some drivers will say you arrived but you were probably dropped off at a further location. Some Uber/Lyft drivers will turn everything off. But the passenger will still have the power to confirm. If there is no confirmation after 30 minutes from drop-off, the authorities will be notified.
Honorable Mention: For now, it is best to start carrying pepper spray or a small knife with you. Always trust your gut.
Like I said, always trust your gut and if you have the opportunity, don't hesitate to take them down. This would be the last resort if nothing works out. But always CARRY a defense weapon on you. Your safety is the most important thing when getting from A to B.