Things that you as a rider can do to stay safe.
Over the past few years, ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft have become extremely popular, especially near major cities. These companies hire drivers to provide a convenient and often less expensive alternative to traditional taxi services. Riders can request an Uber or Lyft on their smartphones and have a ride within minutes. However, riders should make sure they are using ridesharing in a safe way.
How can you avoid becoming a victim of an Uber imposter or a fake Lyft driver? Below are tips to avoid imposters as well as keep you safe in general while ridesharing:
Plan ahead. Before you request a ride, think about where you’re headed and review the safety features in the app so you know how to use them.
Request your ride inside. Avoid spending unnecessary time outside alone with your phone in your hand. Instead, wait indoors until the app shows your driver has arrived.
Get in the right car. Before you get in the car, check that license plate, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Before you get into the car, use the app to check the license plate. Make sure it matches the actual car. Check to make sure the person behind the wheel looks like your driver's photo in the app.
Only take rides setup through the app. Uber & Lyft rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber or Lyft and offers a ride. Don’t treat ridesharing like a taxi in a city.
Be a backseat rider. If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space.
Travel in groups. There is always safety in numbers. Whenever possible, ride with friends or family members to your destination. If you are traveling alone and feel uncomfortable, call a friend or family member and let them know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive.
Buckle up. The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.
Share your trip details with a friend. While en route, tap “Share status” in the Uber app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the Uber app. For Lyft, tap 'Send ETA' after requesting a ride to send someone a text message with an in-app link to your progress toward the destination, a photo of the driver, and the vehicle color, make, model, and license plate number.
Protect your personal information. There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the apps automatically anonymize both phone numbers to protect everyone’s privacy.
“What’s my name?” Don't give away your name. Instead, ask the driver who they are picking up.
Follow along with your own GPS application or the App. On your smartphone, use the ridesharing application or a mapping application such as Waze to view the route while you ride. This will ensure that the driver is using the most efficient route and taking you to the proper destination.
Follow your intuition. Trust your instincts and use your best judgement when ridesharing. And if you ever feel you’re in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.
Be kind and respectful. Please respect your driver and his or her car.
Give feedback on your trip. Your feedback helps improve the experience for everyone. These companies have global support teams who feedback and will follow up with appropriate action on any reports of conduct that violate our community guidelines.